Air India to renew grounded planes for commercial operations

Air India’s new owner – Tata Group is planning to renew Air India’s grounded planes and fix them for commercial operations. Air India has several narrowbody and some widebody aircraft gathering dust due to lack of engine overhaul or non-availability of components and spares. But they could soon be back in the air as these issues are reportedly being worked upon.

Air India wants to take advantage of renewed passenger demand by adding more capacity in the coming months. The airline’s graph in the domestic sector has been gradually dipping over the years as private players took hold of the market by increasing fleet and capacity.

Air India to renew grounded planes for commercial operations

The Tatas are keen on re-establishing Air India’s presence, and many of the carrier’s grounded planes could see better days ahead. According to the Business Standard, the airline is working on a plan to bring the grounded planes back into service in a progressive manner.

As per ch-aviation, Air India has more than 25 inactive A320 family of airplanes and several inactive Boeing 777s and 787s as well.

Sources say that around 8 to 10 A320 aircraft are being restored at the Air India Engineering Services Limited hangars. There are also plans to fix some of the grounded Boeing 787s for service in the next 90-100 days.

Air India has more than 25 inactive A320 family of airplanes and several inactive Boeing 777s and 787s as well.

Much of Air India’s previous issues came down to inefficient management, which led to a lack of funds to repair many of its aircraft. Some of the carrier’s A320 aircraft haven’t flown in years because it ran out of sufficient funds to fix things such as engine overhauls and other maintenance issues.

Costs to fix these problems ran into tens of millions, which the cash-strapped carrier couldn’t arrange. As a result, it gradually lost market share to other airlines and saw its overall position in India slip over the years.

But with the Tatas backing the airline, funds are not an issue anymore. An airline executive told the Business Standard that the current challenge is not money but the timely deliveries of components and spares, which need to be ordered months in advance.

Much of Air India’s previous issues came down to inefficient management, which led to a lack of funds to repair many of its aircraft.

While fixing a majority of its grounded fleet will take a few months, Air India is trying to fix however many aircraft it can immediately to cater to the returning passengers.

The question surrounding Air India’s future fleet development has gained steam ever since the Tatas won the bid for its takeover last year. The conglomerate is reportedly in talks with Boeing and Airbus for long-haul jets, but whether the orders will go to Europe or the US remains to be seen.

ALSO READ – Tata negotiating aircraft order for Air India with Airbus and Boeing

Air India is looking to buy 30 widebody jets worth almost USD 10 billion.

Both Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 are in contention, but according to some experts and inside sources, a concrete decision will be made when there is more clarity on the Air India-Vistara merger.

ALSO READ – Vistara may merge with Air India, a decision expected by end of 2023

In March, Bloomberg had reported that Air India is looking to buy 30 widebody jets worth almost USD 10 billion.

The case for the Dreamliner looks strong, considering Air India already operates a huge fleet of the 787s, and Vistara, too, relies on them for long-haul operations. But its current production delay could push Air India towards Airbus, which has doubled down on efforts to sell its A350 jets in India in recent days.

Related Articles

Responses

Jobs
Forum
Feed
News
Magazine