IndianGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (15 years 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2506 times:
After facing a barrage of criticism from the Indian public and Opposition MPs in Parliament, the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry has finally permitted Indian-Airlines(IC) to go 'full speed ahead' with its fleet renewal programme.
IC has invited Boeing and Airbus to submit their bids. IC is saddled with an ageing fleet, with an average age of 13.5 years, while its arch rivals Jet-Airways(9W) and Sahara Airlines(S2) operate fleets with an average age of 2.5-4 yrs. The oldest acft with IC is a 24 yr old A300, while the newest is a 5 year old A320. As a result, IC has been rapidly losing its share of the domestic market.
The initial plan was to boost IC's fleet strength, inline with the Kelkar committees recommendations, to 97 from the current 56, with the addition of A321's and A320's to complement the existing fleet of 30+ A320's. There was also a suggestion to go in for A330's, since IC also was planning to start flights to Frankfurt, from where Air India has since withdrawn. That plan seems to have been put on hold for now.
In the current round, IC is planning to replace its 12 A300's (8 B2's,4 B4's) and 11 B737-200's operated by its low-cost subsidiary Alliance Air. One of the old 732s of Alliance crashed on its final approach into Patna, which prompted this excercise in the first place.
IC is looking at the 737-900's and A321's to replace the A300's. Around 15 are likely to be procured. An IC official told me that there should have been an A322 (an even larger A321), which perhaps shows which way they are likely to go.
For the Alliance Air 737-200's, IC is looking at Boeing 737-600/700, and the Airbus A318/A319. The A318 was the preferred choice, but since the acft will take atleast 2 years to make its first flight, the A319/736's seem to be the forerunners.
The Alliance Aircraft will be single class (Y), while IC aircraft will be 2 class (J & Y). Another requirement for the Alliance order, would be the ability to operate from short runways like at Gwalior, Indore, Bhopal and Khajuraho. I am not sure of the A318/A319's ability to do this.
Ever since Jet Airways introduced Shuttle flights using ATR-72's, The Govt has been putting pressure on IC to procure ATR-42's for high frequency Shuttle flights. IC has been reluctant to do so, saying that it 'dilutes their focus'.
The Indian Govt. has signed some deal for licence production of ATR-42/72 series of aircraft in India.
As an interim measure, IC is going to immediately procure A320's, A321's and 737-200/400's on short term dry-leases to replace the 6 of oldest 732's and the A300's.
IC's A300 fleet has apparently been (or is being) sold to some Courier/Parcel service in the US, and these aircraft will soon be sent to the UK for conversion into Freighters.
A300B2/B4 - 12
A320-200 - 30
B737-200 - 11
Dornier 228-212 - 3
Total - 56
GUNDU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 2 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1776 times:
that sounds good.I hope IC will get the 777 or the 340, or the 330 or the 767.That would be sufficient to replace the ageing A300's.They can also get brand-new A320 family types or the 737NG to replace the A320's.
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4182 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (15 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1528 times:
In addition Jet Airways considers the purchase of RJs from either Bombardier, Embraer or Fairchild, about 25 till 30. A decision is expected to be in early 2001. Some time ago a rumour existed that Indian Airlines was interested in 6 firm ATR 72-500 plus 6 options but I´ve no idea what happened to that.
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 2 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1708 times:
AI is getting 6 A310, 2 743 and 1 744 on dry lease for the winter schedule. The 772s which AI is dithering over will be used to replace the remaining 742s on the Gulf sectors and maybe even some Far East.
I will check with my dad to verify the FRA restart but last I spoke to him it was almost a done deal. The only obstacle was the German labor laws which made them liable for some horrible amount to pay the staff that were laid off when they closed FRA the first time.
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (15 years 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1649 times:
The 772 (non-ER version) would be a perfect fit for the Gulf routes. Capacity in the 200-250 range (depending if they go with 2 or 3 class layout) and operating costs well below those of the 742s.
The transpacific route in question was India-SEL-SFO and AI was literally months away from starting it before the Asian financial crisis forced them to pull out of SEL. The aircraft would be a 744 though.
AI has no plans whatsoever to lease 737s of any version.
As I mentioned before, AI's thrust right now is to build up the fleet with 2-3 year leases to allow the phasing in of what will probably be the 772. They will replace initially the 742s and then later the A310s (who are already replacing the A300s). The long haul aircraft will be the 744. A mixed fleet of 744 and 772 will allow AI to go with a similar strategy of the two basic types (747 variants longhaul and 707/Airbus/777 variants on high density medium range) that they used since the early 1970s.