Air India to get grounded aircraft airborne by October
By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi/Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) As Air India plans to commence flight operations to Africa and Canada, the flag carrier is hopeful that all 19 of its grounded aircraft will rejoin the fleet by October.
Accordingly, the airline's engineering department has commenced repair work on these grounded aircraft.
"In the first phase, two 787 aircraft shall be made available for service, while in the second phase, four 777 aircraft will become available. In the last phase, 13 Airbus A320 family aircraft are expected to join back the fleet," a senior Air India official told IANS.
"All the phases may get completed before the start of the winter schedule."
Earlier, the airline had earmarked at least Rs 500 crore to get 19 of its grounded passenger jets back into operations.
On a standalone basis, the airline has a total fleet of 128 aircraft.
Apart from restoring the fleet to its original size, the airline is also looking at the feasibility of increasing frequencies to Australia, whereas it nixed plans to commence the New Delhi-Los Angeles service in this financial year.
However, preparations are in full-swing to launch the Mumbai-Nairobi and Delhi-Toronto flight services from September 27 followed by commencement of operations on Delhi-Chennai-Bali sector from October 27.
Additionally, on the domestic front, the airline plans to start services on Mumbai-Dehradun-Varanasi-Patna and Delhi-Khajuraho-Varanasi routes.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])