Tata Group’s Air India has leased a fleet of six Airbus A320 neo aircraft from CDB Aviation, a wholly-owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co Limited, to boost the company’s transformation journey, a statement said on Wednesday, reported by the PTI.
The leasing agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers Asia Pacific 2022 conference, said the CDB Asia statement.
According to the report, CDB Aviation is among the first aircraft leasing companies to secure the placement of Air India’s additional A320 neo aircraft under the recently announced multi-stage transformation plan since the purchase of the airline by Tata Group, which aims to increase the carrier’s fleet and help it boost both domestic and international operations. The aircraft will be delivered in the second half of 2023.
“This is an important agreement, which will help us to strengthen our fleet with state-of-the-art aircraft,” Nipun Aggarwal, chief commercial officer of Air India, said of the agreement. “This will boost our connectivity, especially on the short and medium-haul routes, and is an important step ahead in our transformation journey,” the release said.
“India is an increasingly important region for CDB Aviation, being the second largest Asia Pacific market for new aircraft deliveries, with nearly 1,000 Boeing and Airbus jets in its order book,” explained Peter Goodman, CDB Aviation’s Chief Commercial Officer.
“Our commercial team remains steadfast in its outreach efforts across the Asia Pacific, leveraging our platform’s resources and scale to support the region’s airlines in restoring their networks and growing their fleets.” “This fuel-efficient, new generation aircraft are well suited to support Air India’s fleet revitalisation initiatives, positioning the airline for sustained growth and profitability,’’ said Ryan Barrett, CDB Aviation’s Head of Asia Pacific.
“Our commercial team is delighted to have worked closely with Air India to help solve their fleet requirements with these new Airbus narrow-body aircraft from our order book.”
On the other hand, US-based Boeing is offering 737 Max jets to Air India Ltd, once slated for China, as the planemaker tries to offload some of its roughly 140 aircraft it’s currently not allowed to deliver, Bloomberg said.
Air India, which is overhauling its fleet, is one of a number of potential customers for Boeing, is in talks with lessors and other airlines, sources privy to the development told the news agency. Many operators are eager to line up new narrow-body jets, while Boeing and rival Airbus SE struggle to hit production targets amid labour and parts shortages.