Air India Express fleet to soon have 4 new Boeing 737 to address increased demand

Air India Express  - the budget international airline, might soon add 4 new Boeing 747 aircraft to its existing fleet of 24 aeroplanes. The company is now witnessing increased passenger footfall.

Air India Express fleet to soon have 4 new Boeing 737 to address increased demand

Tata Group-owned Air India Express might soon see the addition of four new Boeing 737s to its fleet. Currently, the airline has a fleet of 24 aircraft after losing one of its planes in the Kozhikode crash that happened in August 2020. The new aeroplanes will be added by the end of this year to meet the increased demand. Since, the aviation industry is now picking up its original pace as Covid restrictions are being eased-off, more passengers are willing to fly, said company source. Also, as per the airlines, dry leasing is a viable option to enhance capacity for short-term duration. 

"Demand for international travel has bounced back after the removal of most of the pandemic-related restrictions on travel. Loads (passenger on aircraft) are good and all the routes are doing well. Of course, there are some seasonal variations, which have been factored in," a source told PTI.

“In the short-term, the airline might take four aircraft on dry lease to increase capacity for the interim period,” the source said, adding that the new aircraft will be utilized to enhance frequency on certain routes.

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A query sent to Air India Express did not elicit a response.

"You can't open new routes with four additional aircraft. These planes will only be used for increasing frequency and consolidation of the existing routes," a source said.

Air India Express currently operates to 11 airports in India and 13 abroad with over 100 daily flights.

The induction of four more aircraft will expand the fleet to 28 planes altogether, the source said.

"The airline has not been allowed to grow since a long time. Earlier, its growth was hampered on account of the disinvestment process. The competition is growing every day and we have to keep up with that,? the source said.

According to another source, the airline had drawn up a business plan in 2018, in which it had envisioned it to be a 50-aircraft company by 2025 as air passenger traffic was booming at that time.

"But first the government did not give us the go ahead at that time saying that the airline was in its disinvestment plans and then the Covid-19 happened,” said the source.

Stating that Air India Express is hiring both cockpit crew and the cabin crew, which is an indication itself of induction of more aircraft (in the short-term), the source said, a walk-in interview for cabin crew has been conducted at Calicut on Tuesday. Also, the airline has already completed one round of walk-in interviews in Delhi and Mumbai.

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