Air India to replace 19 short-haul planes with all-economy A320s

In a move towards greater operational efficiency, national carrier Air India had decided to replace 19 old short-haul planes in the domestic sector with all-economy aircraft by the end of current financial year.

According to the plan, the national carrier will replace 14 Airbus 320s with 168 seats each, and five Airbus 319s with 144 seats, with Airbus 320s that will have 180 seats in an all-economy configuration.

''These new aircraft, which will be taken on lease, will help in increasing capacity in two ways. One will be through the increase in number of seats and the second will be through increase in utilisation of aircraft to around 11 hours daily from around 8 hours now,'' Financial Express quoted an unnamed Air India official as saying.

''We are yet to decide on the services that will be provided to passengers flying in these single configuration planes. What we have decided is that these planes will certainly not be used for full-service operations,'' said the official.

Meanwhile, Air India may also convert its eight Boeing 777 200-LR (long range) aircraft in its fleet to all economy configurations, if a plan to sell the aircraft fails to take off.