National carrier Air India is likely to induct over 30 aircraft, including five wide-body Boeing 777, over two years as it seeks to add capacity in domestic as well as international markets.
Air India Director (Commercial) Pankaj Srivastava said that out of the 34 planes, the carrier is looking to lease, 29 would be narrow-body Airbus A320s. The remaining five would be wide-body Boeing aircraft.
“We are looking at more planes. We want to launch new flights. If the fuel price remains where it is now, we will definitely see economics of scale,” he said while speaking at the CAPA India Aviation Summit here today.
Some of the A320 neo planes, which are being leased would replace the old classic A320 aircraft under the phase out plan, he said.
According to him, all the 34 planes would be inducted into the airline’s fleet over a period of two years which are more than the entire fleet of Pakistan International Airlines.
As part of the international expansion plan, Air India plans to launch its flight services to Washington, Copenhagen, Toronto.
Besides, Srivastava said the airline would increase frequency on routes such as Melbourne, Sydney Colombo, Kathmandu, Singapore and Bangkok.
With respect to finance, he said the airline is looking at various options to reduce its borrowings, including by converting some of the working capital loans into equity.
Air India is surviving on a Rs 30,000-crore bailout package, spread over a ten-year period, that was approved by the central government in 2012.
So far, the airline has received around Rs 24,000 crore as part of this financial package.
In the last fiscal, Air India posted an operational profit of Rs 105 crore for the first time in a decade while its total debt stood at over Rs 46,000 crore.