Love Air India or hate them, you cannot ignore them. As India’s national carrier, they do get the limelight on themselves all the time. Also, the carrier is a favourite for both Airbus and Boeing to be able to sell their newest planes. Air India was one of the first customers of the Boeing 787-8, a plane which after initial troubles is helping Air India launch flights on long and thin routes.
Now, Air India has started to add the Airbus A320neo planes to their fleet. The airline took their first plane delivery a couple of days ago, and this flew in from Toulouse and is now registered as VT-IXF. Here is a video of the making of this plane, very interesting!
Air India is the third operator in India to take the Airbus A320neo planes into its fleet, with Indigo and GoAir ahead of them. They will be adding a total of 14 of these planes under a lease from a Kuwait-based airplane leasing firm. Air India will be operating the plane with the CFM Leap Engines. The other two carriers opted for the Pratt & Whitney engines, which gave them some initial troubles. The plane is configured with 162 seats, and has 12 seats in J class and 150 seats in economy.
Air India will add two more of these planes within the next 45 days, and a total of 14 such planes under this contract by the end of this year. They have a total plan to add 29 neo engine A320s by March 2019. They hope to save 15% on fuel costs with these neo design engines. Air India is the 18th customer for these neo planes, and over 5000 such planes have been ordered so far (but only 70 delivered!)
I’m hoping to be on one such plane shortly and see for myself how a brand new Airbus for Air India looks like from the inside. Talk about fresh paint smell!