Air India to lease out Boeing 777s after Dreamliner induction

Air India plans to lease out some of its fuel-guzzling Boeing 777s to private airlines after it receives the first batch of 787 Dreamliners in about a month to help the carrier to pare costs and restructure international operations.

PTI quoted a top Air India official as saying, there was a long felt need to replace the 777s with more fuel-efficient aircraft like the 787s, but this had to be deferred due to delayed deliveries of 787s. He added, with things progressing for the induction of the 787s the airline was hopeful of leasing out some of the 777s.

He said, the 787s would be operated on routes where the 777s are used like ultra-long haul destinations in the US and Canada. He said, the aircraft with its seating configuration of 256 was also best suited for those loss-making routes as sometimes there were not enough passengers to fill the 777s.

The Boeing 787 aircraft which is made of composite materials is powered by a newly-developed engine and uses advanced flight technologies that make it highly fuel-efficient. The plane can fly non-stop up to 16,000km.

The plan comes amid talks that the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) might take a favourable decision to induct the 787s, after Boeing announces its final compensation package for delayed deliveries.

The official who requested anonymity said, after the airline got clearance, it expected to induct three aircraft in June or July and the rest of the aircraft would soon follow.