Air India board clears leaseback option for 787 Dreamliners

Mumbai: Air India's board of directors decided Tuesday in favour of a sale and leaseback option for seven of 14 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft being delivered by 2014. This is out of a total of 27 aircraft on order. The board met to consider a number of issues, including clearance accorded to its restructuring plan by a consortium of lenders.

The state-owned carrier will exercise the same option for five of its current fleet of eight Boeing 777-200LRs, as well as two Boeing 747s, which airline officials termed as "excess capacity".

According to airline officials, the carrier is targeting revenues of at least $60 million per annum through the sale and leaseback option.

The board has apparently given its clearance for seeking request for proposals from interested parties for the sale and lease back option for the Dreamliners.

The government is yet to accord formal approval for the purchase of this aircraft.

In a another cost-saving measure the airline's board has also cleared a proposal to stop serving meals on flights that are of less than 90-minutes duration from the coming winter schedule. This is likely to result in savings of up to Rs20 crore per year.