Air India will induct two A350 aircraft this year for which it has received DGCA approval and expects to have six such planes in its fleet by the end of March 2024, according to officials. Steered by the Tata Group, the loss-making Air India is expanding its fleet as well as operations. In February, the carrier placed an order for 470 aircraft, including 40 A350-900/1000 planes. The officials in the know said, Air India has received the Letter of Type Acceptance (LoTA) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for inducting two A350 aircraft — A350-900 and A350-1000.
Both planes will be powered by Rolls Royce engines. An official at the airline said it will be inducting the two wide body aircraft this year. By the end of March next year, Air India expects to have a total of six A350 planes, the official added. Currently, Air India, which was taken over by the Tata Group from the government in January last year, has a fleet of 126 planes.
This includes 52 wide body Boeing 787 and 777 aircraft. In a message to the staff on July 21, Air India chief Campbell Wilson had said that around a third of its total wide body fleet will feature modern seats and in-flight entertainment systems by March 2024.
“By the end of this financial year, the six new A350s, together with the 5 leased B-772 LRs and 9 other B-777 ERs we’re also inducting, will mean that our wide body fleet will have grown in size by 30 per cent within a year,” he had said.
Air India has placed orders for 470 planes with Airbus and Boeing. The Airbus firm order comprises 210 A320/321 Neo/XLR and 40 A350-900/1000, while the Boeing firm order comprises 190 737-Max, 20 787s and 10 777s.