New Delhi: In a spree to lease out part of its fleet to earn and become trim, Air India today invited
bids to lease out at least three of its Boeing B-747 jumbo jets for six months or more.
This is the third time this month that the national
carrier has invited bids for leasing out aircraft.
On November 3, it had issued a request for proposal
document for leasing out three B-777-200 (long range), which
was followed just three days later by an invitation of bids
for four Airbus A 310-304 freighters.
The bids invited today are for three B 747-400s on wet
lease for six months or longer duration and the last date for
their submission is November 20, Air India sources said.
A wet leased plane would have along with it the crew
members, engineering facilities as well as insurance cover,
while a dry leased aircraft is offered without the crew.
The Boeing 777-200 (LR) aircraft, for which tenders were
issued on November 3, would be on dry lease for six
months or more, the bids for which are to be submitted by the interested
parties by November 17, they said.
The four A 310-304 freighters, which were converted from
passenger aircraft to cargo carriers by the manufacturer EADS
in Germany, are also being offered on dry lease.
The sources said leasing would help Air India earn the
much-needed resources to come out of the financial crunch.
In face of low passenger loads, the cash-strapped
airline, like others, was also trying to reduce capacity by
cutting its fleet-size through the leasing process.