Last Updated on Dec 8th, 2023 by Renu Dahiya, Leave a Comment
Air India, once a government-owned airline experiencing slow growth in its planes and staff, is now back in the hands of its founder, the Tata Group. With the new ownership, Air India is rapidly growing and advancing.
Air India has ambitious expansion plans, aiming to add 19 wide-body and 50 narrow-body aircraft to its fleet by the upcoming March. To support this growth, the airline is actively hiring 550 cabin crew members and 50 pilots each month. This addition of new aircraft will address concerns from customers about the older fleet’s cabins.
Moreover, the expanded fleet will help Air India improve its international network, with a focus on North America and Europe.
Insight – The airline has already ordered 470 aircraft, including 70 wide-body planes, showing its dedication to future growth and development.
AI MD & CEO Campbell Wilson told the Times Of India – “We will be inducting 19 new wide-body aircraft by the end of next March. (Once that happens) from mid-2024, we will start sending our 40 existing wide-body (27 Boeing 787s and 13 B777s) aircraft for complete refurbishment. Their interiors will be completely scrapped and these planes will get everything brand new from seats to inflight entertainment and onboard Wifi as part of our $400-million upgrade project. By mid-2025, all our twin-aisles will have absolutely new cabin product.”
Air India’s Managing Director and CEO, Campbell Wilson, revealed plans to bring in 19 new wide-body aircraft by the end of March 2024. Starting from mid-2024, the airline will start with a thorough makeover of its current 40 wide-body planes, which include 27 Boeing 787s and 13 B777s.
This refurbishment project, estimated at $400 million, entails a complete overhaul of the plane interiors. Everything, from seats to in-flight entertainment systems and onboard Wi-Fi, will be upgraded, promising a completely refreshed cabin experience.
Wilson highlighted that by mid-2025, all of Air India’s twin-aisle aircraft will showcase a brand-new cabin product, providing passengers with an enhanced and modern travel experience.
Air India is fast-tracking the modernization of its narrow-body fleet, aiming to give a fresh look to a significant portion of the airline’s full-service narrow-body planes by September 2024. As part of this effort, 50 narrow-body planes will be added by the end of March 2024.
By September 2024, around 75-80% of the full-service single-aisle fleet will showcase brand-new interiors. The low-cost subsidiary, AI Express, will revamp and use the remaining 20-25%.
Previously, Air India faced crew shortages, leading to the suspension of six weekly non-stop flights and a few connecting flights to United States from India in March 2023. Some Airbus A320neo aircraft were also grounded for the same reason.
However, with the recruitment of approximately 600 crew members each month and the addition of nearly 200 Go First pilots, the crew shortage issue seems to have been resolved. Wilson emphasized that the hiring rate for pilots and cabin crew has significantly increased, surpassing the numbers that Air India used to hire in an entire year.
What are your thoughts on Air India’s fleet transformation strategy? Do let us know in the comments below.
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Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.