Air India may sell, lease back Dreamliners

Mumbai: Air India Ltd may sell and lease back the futuristic 787 Dreamliner planes it is due to take delivery soon from Boeing Co, according to airline sources being quoted in the media. This is necessitated as the hugely debt-laden carrier tries desperately to get a financial restructuring package in place that will ensure its continued existence as a functioning airline.

Air India is only the second carrier after launch customer All Nippon Airways to take delivery of the Dreamliner, which Boeing claims will be one of the most fuel efficient airliners in operation today.

AI has 27 Dreamliners on order.

The same sources also said the airline will also look to carry out similar transactions with other aircraft in its fleet as well, but will start with the Dreamliner as these state-of-the art aircraft are much in demand now and are expected to fetch a higher price than other planes.

The airline already has some Airbus planes on sale and leaseback.

Sale and leaseback deals unlock precious cash for airlines and are helpful in balancing account books.

Indian carriers are battling high fuel costs, high interest rates and a weak rupee which has led most of them into reporting heavy losses every quarter of this year.