The delivery of first two Airbus A320neo planes to Air India has been delayed by a month due to engine issues and the national carrier is now expected to induct these more fuel-efficient aircraft next month.
As per the earlier schedule, the airline was to take delivery of the two A320neo (new engine option) planes this month as part of its narrow-body fleet expansion plans.
The induction is also aimed at augmenting the capacity in the domestic market which is growing over 20% for as many months now.
“The delivery of A320neo has been deferred to February by the lessors due to some engine issues,” Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said.
Air India has opted for CFM-LEAP-1A26 engines to power these A320neo planes.
“The first two A320neo planes will now come in February,” Lohani said.
In all, Air India would induct a total of three A320neo aircraft by the end of this fiscal, he said.
As of now, two budget carriers IndiGo and GoAir have these new fuel-efficient planes in their fleet. The European aviation major Airbus claims these planes burn 15% less fuel than the existing model.
In March last year, the Government-run airline had inked a pact with the Kuwait-based leasing firm ALAFCO for dry leasing 14 A320neo planes.
These planes are to be inducted in Air India’s fleet by March 2018.
Besides, in June last year, the national carrier had sought bids for induction of seven more such planes for up to 12 years.