Monday, December 5, 2011

Air India Aims to buy 27 Boeing 787 Dreamliners

The flag carrier of India, Air India has planned to purchase 27 Boeing 787s. The airline is intending to go for a sale-and-leaseback agreement in order to fix the financial burden this would implicate. Read below to get the wider picture of the news.

Air India, the flag carrier of India is heading to purchase 27 Boeing 787 aircraft. The airline initially decided to obtain it in the year 2006.

Air India is a renowned carrier and perhaps the first preferred airline for booking tickets for flights to India. Behind Jet Airways, Kingfisher and IndiGo, Air India has the fourth largest contribution in India's domestic air travel market. However, from the past sometime, the airline has been in the red.

As per the conference held on Tuesday, the cash-strapped airline’s board members have decided that rather than going for outright purchase, the airline would opt for a sale-and-leaseback arrangement that would help it to handle the financial burden this deal will include.

Moreover, the airline also has plans to lease out some of its new and old planes to reduce its thumping debts of Rs 43,777 crore.

To bring down its material consumption, Air India is considering the proposals of substituting the full meals with a snack for onboard flights of less than 90 minutes and ceasing the service of hot meals completely on flights of less than one hour.

The carrier intends to lease out its surplus capacity of two Boeing 747-400 planes and some Boeing 777-200 long-range planes as soon it will get the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

World’s best fuel-efficient airliner, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is possibly a boon for budget travellers looking for cheap flight to India. However, cheap flight tickets due to higher fuel efficiency is not the only plus point of the airliner. Boeing 787 also features amazing interiors for more stress-free medium and long-haul flights to and from India.

Tussle Between Indian Airlines and Air India to Fly the Dreamliner

Since the time Air India has planned to purchase the Boeing 787 aircraft, the pilot associations of the integrated Indian Airlines and Air India have been going under a big tussle over the right to fly it.

However, Air India put forward a policy of 1:1 which states one pilot each from Indian Airlines and Air India will be assigned the flight duty on the Boeing 787 aircraft. Even though, Air India and ICPA (representing the IA pilots) have favoured this policy, IPG (representing AI pilots) have contradicted it. IPG feels that its pilots have elite right and seniority to fly the 787s. Consequently, IPG has challenged the carrier’s step in the court.

Now it is to be seen how Air India will handle the situation emerged due to conflicts between the IPG and Indian Commercial Pilots Association over the airline’s intended policy of 1:1.

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