Air India is hoping to get all 19 of its grounded aircraft to rejoin its fleet by October this year, reports said. The airline's engineering department has started working on these aircraft to get them back into action in a phased manner.
Two Boeing 787 planes will be made available in the first phase, followed by four Boeing 777 aircraft in the second phase, news agency IANS quoted a senior Air India official as saying. In the last phase, 13 Airbus A320 aircraft are likely to be reintroduced in the fleet. All phases might get completed before the start of the winter schedule, the official told the news agency.
Air India had earmarked around Rs 500 crore to get its 19 grounded aircraft airborne. On a standalone basis, the state-run airline has a total fleet of 128 passenger jets.
Presently, along with trying to get back the entire strength of its fleet, Air India is planning to commence flight operations to Canada and Africa. The carrier is also looking at the feasibility of increasing flight frequency to Australia, the report said. Preparations are in full-swing to launch the Mumbai-Nairobi and Delhi-Toronto flight services from September 27 followed by the beginning of operations on Delhi-Chennai-Bali sector from October 27, the report further added.
However, Air India has terminated its plans to begin flight operations between New Delhi and Los Angeles services during the current financial year.
On the domestic front, Air India plans to start services on Mumbai-Dehradun-Varanasi-Patna and Delhi-Khajuraho-Varanasi routes, the report said.