Air India has entered the market to lease up to 15 Airbus A-320 aircraft.
The Airbus A-320 family of aircraft has been the mainstay of the airline’s domestic operations and the aircraft proposed to be leased will also be deployed on domestic routes.
The airline has put out a tender for leasing up to 15 Airbus A-320 aircraft, which it plans to induct into its fleet during 2016-17, a senior airline official said. The decision to look at the leasing route was taken as global lessors have indicated to the state-owned airline that some airlines have either cancelled or postponed their plans of taking such aircraft, the official added.
Air India plans to take the aircraft on “long lease” and will go in for dry lease, which means that the airline will get the Airbus A-320 planes without the cockpit operating crew.
The airline’s decision to follow the leasing route is also driven by the fact that aviation turbine prices are at a record low and there is a huge jump in passengers travelling on domestic sectors on most airlines. As a result, there has been a positive impact on its, and most domestic airlines’, bottom lines.
In November last year, domestic airlines flew 73.22 lakh travelers, a 24.65 per cent increase over the 58.74 lakh passengers carried during the same period in the previous year.