Air India to dry lease 14 Airbus A320 planes from Kuwait


National carrier Air India would dry lease 14 Airbus A320 planes from a Kuwaiti lessor as it seeks to replace its ageing narrow-body fleet with new fuel efficient planes.

The carrier plans to replace 19 A320 planes. It has already entered into a deal with a Chinese firm for five sharklets-equipped A320 (ceo-current engine option) aircraft.

For these five planes, it has tied up with independent Chinese lessor China Aircraft Leasing Company, which has already delivered one plane in early February. The rest four are to be inducted by October this year.

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Air India seeks pre-clearance for US-bound passengers to beat competition


NEW DELHI: Facing stiff competition from the Jet Airways-Etihad combine on the lucrative US routes, Air India has requested the External Affairs Ministry to facilitate a pre-clearance facility for the flyers on its US-bound non-stop flights from major domestic airports.

The national carrier has sought the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Mumbai and Delhi airports to begin with, which would allow these passengers complete the immigration process at these airports itself.

“We have requested the MEA for having this facility as it would enable our flyers land in the US as domestic passengers and, if granted, this would save considerable time for them,” Air India sources said.

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Air India flight leaves early for a change, flies heart to save critically ill man


A critically ill man in Chennai was literally saved on a wing and a prayer after a beating heart was flown in from Madurai and reached him in the nick of time.

The 48-year-old Pune resident, suffering from a rapidly deteriorating heart muscle disease called cardiomyopathy, was admitted in the hospital three weeks ago. On Wednesday, a 29-year-old died in Madurai after a serious car accident.

In a noble gesture, the road crash victim’s family consented to donating his heart, kidneys, liver and eyes. As soon as the Chennai hospital heard of this, it flew a team of doctors to Madurai to harvest the man’s heart.

The medical team then contacted Air India to find if they could fly the harvested heart to Chennai at the earliest. AI had a scheduled Madurai-Chennai-Mumbai flight (AI 672) and offered to fly it out of Madurai as soon as the medical team was ready to go.

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AISATS to invest Rs 57 crore in GSE to expand capacity at Delhi airport

Air-IndiaNEW DELHI: Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd (AISATS), has announced further investments of Rs 57 crore in new Ground Support Equipment (GSE) to expand capacity at the Delhi airport.

This investment is part of the 85 crore rupees invested in GSE by AISATS in the past one year and takes their total investments to RS 160 crore in the past five years.

“The GSE deployed will not only enhance service delivery standards but also improve operational efficiency and compliance with local airport regulations,” said a release from the company.

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Air India pilots’ body writes to DGCA about ‘stressed’ junior pilots in cockpit

Air-IndiaNEW DELHI: An Air India pilots’ body has urged DGCA to look into the issue of deployment of a section of its “stressed” junior pilots in the cockpit, days after the Germanwings pane crash.

Stating that some 30-odd co-pilots were being “forced to work overtime” without any remuneration, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), in a letter to the aviation regulator today alleged that “putting these highly-stressed and financially over-burdened co-pilots in the same cockpit… is a perfect recipe for disaster.”

ICPA represents the narrow-body Airbus A320 pilots in the airline. This is the second time in the last 10 days that ICPA has red-flagged safety concerns in Air India to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Earlier, it had asked DGCA to ground the airline’s 26-year -old A-320 fleet citing safety concerns.

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