New Delhi | Air India Express (AIE) will lease three Boeing 737-800 planes from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) of Singapore, which are expected to be delivered to the airline next year. AIE has also floated fresh tenders recently for leasing of five more planes of similar type to maintain a fleet of 25 aircraft, a senior airline official said here. We are leasing brand new three Boeing 737-800 planes from GECAS of Singapore. We have already signed a lease agreement with the firm and the aircraft will be delivered next year, the official said.
These planes are expected to be delivered to the AIE between March and May next year, the official said, adding the induction will raise the fleet size to 20. The Kochibased Air India Express at present operates 159 flights per week across the Gulf and Southeast Asia besides the domestic market with a fleet of 17 Boeing 737800 planes (all owned). The airline ad earlier a fleet of 25 Boeing 737800 planes with 18 owned and seven leased ones.
While it returned all the leased planes to the lessors on completion of the lease period over a period of time, AIE lost one plane during the Mangalore crash in 2010, reducing the number of aircraft in the fleet to 17. We want to maintain 25 planes in the fleet. The induction of three planes next year and five more afterwards will achieve this purpose. Addition of new planes will also help us boost capacity in the markets like Southeast Asia, the official said.
The current fiscal was expected to deliver better results compared to FY 14, the official said, adding, We may end up the year with a revenue of Rs 2,5002, 600 crore. Besides, the seat factor is also likely to see a higher growth at 82 per cent this fiscal compared to 78.1 per cent in FY14, the official said, adding, the passenger carriage, however, may see a flat growth at 2.5 million. The official also said that the airline has plans to scale up its operations from the coming summers with additional services to the Gulf from Kochi, Thiruvannathapuram and Mangalore airports.
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