New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS): Air India on Monday announced the lease of six Airbus A320neo narrow body aircraft and six Boeing B777-300 ER widebody aircraft to further augment its existing fleet.
These aircraft are expected to be inducted in the first half of 2023 and will be deployed on the flag carrier's short, medium and long-haul international routes.
The decision to lease the 12 aircraft is in addition to the 30 leased earlier this year -- 21 Airbus A320, four Airbus A321 and five Boeing B777-200LR widebody aircraft.
The Airbus A320neo will be operated on the airline's domestic/short-to-medium haul international routes.
Air India's B777-300 ER will have four-class configuration of First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy, and will be deployed to connect Indian metro cities with additional international destinations.
The airline's aggressive expansion plan has already witnessed 19 long-grounded aircraft returning to the skies with nine more to follow even as the airline has stepped up lease of narrow and wide-body models.
As part of the expansion, Air India has raised the frequency of flights between key cities in the domestic sector and has also announced direct flights between Indian cities and key global destinations like Doha, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Birmingham.
Further, Air India is set to commence direct flights from Delhi to key European cities like Milan, Vienna and Copenhagen, and from Mumbai to New York, Paris and Frankfurt.
Commenting on the lease of the aircraft, Campbell Wilson, CEO & Managing Director, Air India, said: "Growing our network is an essential part of Air India's Vihaan.AI transformational journey and we remain committed to increasing connectivity and frequency of flights both domestically and internationally. These additional aircraft leases will support our near term growth even as we finalise plans to refresh and significantly grow our long-term fleet."