Air India to dry-lease four 747-400 combi aircrafts and 11 737-800. Link:
Air India (AI) will be dry leasing two to four Boeing 747-400 combi aircraft to be operated by itself and 11 Boeing 737-800 aircraft to be operated by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Air India Charters Ltd (AICL). Air India will be looking at 747-400s to be leased for a period of three years, and can seat up to 220 and 300 passengers in a two or a three-class configuration. For AICL, the lease duration is expected to be five years.
Preferred delivery date for the 747-400s is March 2005, while AICL is looking to operate three 737 aircraft in March 2005 followed by four aircraft each in October next year and March 2006. AICL will also consider deliveries as late December 2006.
Air India had entered the dry lease market earlier this year as well, looking to lease as many as 20 aircraft for periods of seven to ten years. These included three ultra-long haul aircraft, and would be a choice between Airbus A-340-500 and Boeing 777-200 LR
aircraft. The remaining 17 aircraft were to be leased from among four types of aircraft, the Airbus A-330-200, A 340-300, Boeing 777-200 ER
and Boeing 747-400 combi.
Leasing additional aircraft will enable the airlines to offer more flights to existing destinations and facilitate the launch of non-stop services between India and distant countries, such as the US.