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Tatas getting Air India’s grounded planes back in the sky, increasing flights

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NEW DELHI: Several Air India aircraft that were grounded for lack of spares during its cash-starved state-owned days have started returning to the skies, thanks to the Tatas making the required investments. The airline is also going to place a mega order for both new wide body aircraft, Airbus A350, and single aisles. While the big network expansion will take place as it progressively gets new aircraft, the same will take time. In the interim, utilisation of the existing fleet is being increased by getting grounded planes back in the sky.
The airline has 70 narrow body planes of which 54 are currently serviceable. The remaining 16 will progressively return to service by early 2023, AI said on Thursday.
Similarly, AI’s widebody fleet currently stands at 43 aircraft, of which 33 are operational. The airline had last Sunday said this “is a significant improvement from 28 aircraft that the airline was operating till recently. The remaining aircraft will be progressively returned to service by early 2023.”
“Manufacturer Boeing has been working closely with Air India following its acquisition by Tata Group to restore aircraft that had been grounded for prolonged periods due to the Covid-19 pandemic and other reasons. The progressive restoration of these aircraft has already allowed AI to increase schedule resilience and will allow further frequency and network increases over the coming months,” AI had said in a statement.
AI MD-CEO Campbell Wilson said Thursday: “Over the past six months (since Tatas took over the airline), Air India has been working closely with our partners to return aircraft to service, and we are delighted that this effort is now bearing fruit.”
AI announced 24 new domestic flights thanks to having more single aisles serviceable now. And with the return of a wide body Boeing 777 to service, the airline is going to increase its Delhi-Vancouver frequency.

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