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Air India To Lease 3 Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Aircraft


  • Air India plans to lease three Boeing 777-300ERs from Singapore Airlines to replace older, less efficient widebody jets to enhance operational efficiency and passenger experience.
  • Air India’s fleet expansion includes an order for 250 Airbus and 220 Boeing aircraft, as well as an order for 800 CFM LEAP engines to power its new fleet.

Air India plans to expand its widebody aircraft fleet by leasing three Boeing 777-300ER from Singapore Airlines, according to a report by the Economic Times. The news comes as the airline is in the process of replacing older Boeing 777-200 widebody jets.

Getting rid of fuel guzzlers

Air India’s fleet remains relatively small compared to other major airlines, with a current operation of 121 aircraft – 72 narrowbodies and 49 widebodies, according to Planespotters.net. Among the 49 widebodies, the fleet comprises 27 Boeing 787-8s and 22 777s, consisting of 14 777-300ERs and eight 777-200s. Of this, these -200s, five are ex-Delta aircraft leased in the last 12 months, while three are historic aircraft, the exact ones being replaced.

Air India has outlined its intentions to replace the older 777-200s with more efficient 777-300ERs, citing the former as fuel guzzlers with limited seating capacity. The older 777-200s have also been subject to passenger ire due to not functional entertainment systems, crumbling seats, and broken lavatories. The airline seeks to enhance its operational efficiency and passenger experience by undertaking this upgrade.

Air India Boeing 777-300ER taking off

Photo: AdityaChopra/Shutterstock

In a statement to The Economic Times, a person familiar with the matter mentioned that “it makes no sense to refurbish” the Boeing 777-200s, which can only seat 238 passengers. Instead, the 777-300ERs leased from Singapore Airlines are in good condition and feature “premium economy seating, allowing for a higher yield with 264 seats.”

The airline did not specify the exact date for these three aircraft to join the fleet. It is worth noting that Singapore Airlines retired three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Simple Flying has asked Air India for a comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Air India’s fleet expansion

After the Tata Group took over control of Air India, several changes regarding the airline’s fleet began to unfold. Air India has been garnering significant attention in recent months, embarking on a fleet modernization drive with a momentous announcement of ordering 470 new aircraft.

Air India made headlines during the Paris Air Show 2023 by finalizing its historic order for 250 Airbus and 220 Boeing aircraft.

Air India's new Airbus fleet including the A350 and A320neo family

Photo: Airbus

The airline placed orders for 190 737 MAX aircraft on the narrowbody side. On the widebody side, the airline ordered 20 787 Dreamliners, of which the airline is already an operator, and ten 777Xs, making Air India the 11th customer of the type. Apart from the Boeing order, Air India also confirmed its acquisition of 140 A320neos, 70 A321neos, and 40 A350 widebodies. In a statement, Campbell Wilson, CEO and Managing Director of Air India, said:

“Our ambitious fleet renewal and expansion program will see Air India operate the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft across our route network within five years.”

Following its historic order, Air India finalized an order for more than 800 CFM LEAP engines to power the airline’s new fleet of 210 Airbus A320/A321neos and 190 Boeing 737 MAX family aircraft. The deal also includes a multi-year services agreement covering the airline’s entire fleet of LEAP engines.

Sources: Economic Times, Planespotters.net

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