DALLAS – Air India (AI) is planning on tripling its fleet size over the next five years; Chief Executive Campbell Wilson has told reporters.
AI currently has 113 aircraft in its fleet made up of Airbus A320 family jets plus Boeing 777-200LRs, -300ERs, and 787-8s for its long-haul operations.
In September, the airline announced a 25% increase to its fleet with the addition of 25 Airbus aircraft and five 777s. Seventeen grounded airframes have also been reactivated. Twelve are still to return to service, although these require ‘significant engineering work.’
During an interview in New Delhi, Wilson said, “The airline is in discussions with aircraft and engine manufacturers on procuring new aircraft. I wouldn’t put a number on it because negotiations are still ongoing. We also have a view on the proportion of wide and narrow-body [aircraft], and the increase is going to be a significant number of both.”
Increasing Market Share
Wilson added that the carrier is also planning on increasing its domestic and international market share to 30% in the next five years. This will be carried out in phases, first focusing on improving the airline’s brand, followed by investment in systems, equipment, and people. By the end of the five years, Air India hopes to become a “world-class” airline.
The bold plans come just days after AI owners, the Tata Group, revealed it had commenced discussions on merging the carrier with fellow Indian full-service airline Vistara (UK).
Featured Image: AI Boeing 787-8 (VT-ANR). Photo: Roberto Leiro/Airways