Air India to lease aircraft to generate cash

New Delhi, April 24: In a bid to generate extra revenue, the cash-strapped national carrier Air India Thursday sought to lease 14 old Airbus A320 aircraft.

The company issued a tender for dry-lease bid for the A320 aircraft for a maximum six years. The company has invited bids by May 29.

“The company will also invite dry-lease bid for new aircraft. The new bid number should also be around 14 A320 aircraft,” a senior official with the state-run carrier told IANS.

“Air India additionally will shortly invite tender for dry lease of up to 14 new A320 aircraft with sharklets. Air India will require a total number of 14 A320 Aircraft on dry lease (old aircraft as per the current tender and new aircraft as per the tender to be floated),” the current tender document said.

Air India was one of the launch operators of A320 aircraft and purchased 31 aircraft during 1989-1993. Again, during 2006-2010, AI purchased 43 A320 family aircraft.

Last October, Air India sold five of its eight Boeing 777-200 aircraft to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.

The airline is said to be planning to sell the remaining three fuel-guzzling Boeing 777-200 aircraft soon.