Hyderabad: Air India is mulling expanding its Boeing wide-body aircraft feet to implement its plans of adding a host of new destinations in its overseas network in a couple of years.
The airline is expected to draw up a firm plan in this regard early next fiscal, highly-placed airline sources said.
As of now, the government-owned carrier has 40 wide-body or twin-aisle planes in its fleet — 15 Boeing 777s, 21 B-787 (Dreamliners) and jumbo B-747, as against 68 Airbus single- aisle A-320 family aircraft.
“We have not added too many wide-body planes in the fleet in the last couple of years, except the induction of Dreamliners from the 2005 order. We are now considering expanding this fleet as well by adding some long range Boeing aircraft going forward,” the sources said.
A final call on the issue, including the choice of aircraft B-777s or Dreamliners — is expected to be made early next financial year, they said.
The new routes that are on India’s radar include Washington DC and Houston among others in the US, Sweden and some destinations across Africa, sources said.
Air India is expected to take deliveries of another nine wide-body planes by March 2018 which include six Dreamliners and three B777-300ERs. At the same time, it will induct another around 30 A-320s, includng A-320 neos, during the same period.
“But this will not suffice as we will be adding a number of destinations in the international network and hence require a good number of aircraft to meet the purpose,” they said.