Air India
Air India

Bengaluru to get weekly air service to San Francisco as Air India to expand fleet

Air India announced that it plans to induct 30 new aircrafts to its fleets, due to which it plans on increasing domestic and international services.

Air India on Monday, September 12, said it will progressively induct 30 new aircrafts, including 5 wide-body Boeing planes, from December this year, as the Tatas-owned airline looks to boost its domestic and international services. The airline has signed leases and letters of intent for inducting 5 wide-body Boeing and 25 Airbus narrow-body planes over the next 15 months.

"Mumbai will see the addition of flights to San Francisco as well as to both of the New York area's international airports, Newark Liberty and John F Kennedy, while Bengaluru will receive a 3x weekly service to San Francisco. These aircrafts will result in Air India offering Premium Economy haul flights for the first time," a statement by Air India said.

"These new aircrafts, which will enter service from late 2022, will increase the airline's fleet by over 25 per cent. Not counting the 10 long-grounded narrow-body and 6 wide-body aircraft that have been returned to service in recent months, these new aircrafts mark the first major fleet expansion since Air India's acquisition by the Tata Group earlier this year," it said. The planes being leased include 21 Airbus A320 neos, 4 Airbus A321 neos and 5 Boeing B777-200LRs. The B777-200LRs will join the fleet between December 2022 and March 2023. They will be deployed on routes from Indian metro cities to the US.

According to the release, the four A321 neo aircrafts are expected to join the fleet in the first quarter of calendar year 2023, while the 21 A320 neos will be inducted in the second half of 2023. These will be deployed on domestic sectors as well as for short-haul international destinations. "After a long time without significant growth, Air India is delighted to resume expanding its fleet and global footprint. These new aircrafts, together with existing aircrafts being returned to service, address an immediate need for more capacity and connectivity, and mark a strong step forward," Air India CEO and Managing Director Campbell Wilson said.

Currently, the airline's narrow-body fleet stands at 70 aircrafts. Out of them, 54 are in service and the remaining 16 aircrafts will progressively return to service by early 2023. Air India's wide-body fleet stands at 43 aircrafts, of which 33 are operational. The rest will return to service by early 2023.

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