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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State run Air India found selling tickets way below market rates


NEW DELHI: State-run Air India has been found selling a large number of seats much below market rates on its flights.

An inquiry by the vigilance department of Air India has found that the national carrier was selling over 85% seats on a
flight to Agartala from Delhi at cheapest fares, which are less than half the normal fares.

This comes at a time when the government is struggling to regulate airfares after complaints of high fares.

“The vigilance department audited fares on this route for a period of six months and then submitted a report in April this year. The department found that about 120 of the 140 seats in the aircraft being operated to Agartala were being sold in the cheapest fare bracket,” said a senior Air India official.

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