With Air India being under new ownership, the airline has plans to lease 30 aircraft over the next 15 months. This is an interesting development…
Air India leasing 30 Airbus & Boeing jets
Air India has signed a letter of intent to lease a total of 30 jets, including:
- 21 Airbus A320neos, which will join Air India’s fleet in the first quarter of 2023
- Four Airbus A321neos, which will join Air India’s fleet in the first quarter of 2023
- Five Boeing 777-200LRs, which will join Air India’s fleet between December 2022 and March 2023
On top of that, Air India will be reactivating 16 aircraft that have been grounded for a long time, including 10 narrow body jets and six wide body jets. This marks a major fleet expansion for Air India, as the airline will essentially have 46 additional planes flying, increasing Air India’s active fleet by over 50%.
For context, Air India’s fleet currently consists of Airbus A319s, Airbus A320s, Airbus A320neos, Airbus A321s, Boeing 787-8s, Boeing 777-200LRs, and Boeing 777-300ERs.
It’s not yet know how long these leases are for, though it’s my understanding that Air India is planning on placing a larger aircraft order soon, including for wide body jets. It has been rumored that Air India plans on ordering Airbus A350s for a long term fleet renewal project.
Where is Air India getting its Boeing 777s?!
Personally I’m most intrigued by Air India acquiring Boeing 777-200LRs. What do we know about that so far? It’s stated that Air India plans to fly Boeing 777-200LRs to the United States, and the airline claims it will fly from Mumbai to New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), and San Francisco (SFO), plus Bangalore (BLR) to San Francisco (SFO). Air India will also offer premium economy for the first time on these jets.
It sure sounds to me like Air India will be taking over some Delta Boeing 777-200LRs that were retired during the pandemic. That’s the only former 777-200LR operator that had at least five jets with premium economy. I was under the impression that these jets were undergoing a conversion to turn into freighter aircraft, but I guess that’s not happening just yet.
This would represent a huge passenger experience upgrade for Air India, as presumably Air India would continue to offer Delta One Suites, featuring direct aisle access and doors at every business class seat.
That’s quite a bit better than Air India’s current 777 business class, featuring seven angled seats per row.
Air India will also offer premium economy, so I’m curious to see how that does for the airline.
Air India will be leasing 30 jets, including Airbus A320neos, Airbus A321neos, and Boeing 777-200LRs. These planes should start to join Air India’s fleet as of late 2022, and on top of that Air India will be reactivating 16 planes that have been in long term storage.
This marks a significant expansion for the airline, and in particular I’m excited to hear that Air India will be picking up some more wide body jets. Presumably these planes are from Delta, which would mark a huge upgrade to Air India’s passenger experience.
What do you make of the 30 jets Air India is picking up?