AI clears proposal to induct on lease 8 Boeing

Last Updated: Friday, January 7, 2011 - 20:11

Mumbai: Air India on Friday approved a
proposal to induct on lease eight Boeing aircraft to augment
the fleet strength of its wholly-owned subsidiary Air India
Express.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Air India
Board here this evening.

Of the eight Boeing B 737-800 planes, four would be
taken on long-term dry lease and the remaining would be
wet-leased for six months, airline sources said.

The sources said wet-leasing was being done to meet
the shortage of pilots and cabin crew the no-frill carrier was
facing now.

The four B-737s were being wet leased "in order to
augment capacity to meet the surging demand and also the
demands from MPs of Punjab and Kerala to restore the original
(flight) schedule," the order signed by AI CMD Arvind Jadhav
said.

Wet lease is an arrangement in which the lessor
provides an aircraft along with the cockpit and cabin crew and
pays for its maintenance and insurance. The company which wet
leases the plane pays by the hours it is operated. In dry
lease, only the aircraft is leased out.

However, the wet-lease move had baffled some officials
who maintained that wet leasing was always costlier than dry
lease and there was no shortage of pilots in Air India
Express.

In November, the airline had floated tenders to
dry-lease four Boeing 737-800 for upto five years.

Air India Express operates mainly across the Gulf and
Southeast Asia and currently has a 21-aircraft fleet in which
17 are owned and four are on lease.

Air India has also planned to take 10 Airbus A-330
planes on dry-lease to expand its network. These planes were
intended to be leased for five years with the option of
extending the lease period by another two years. The
deliveries of these aircraft were preferred from second
quarter of this year.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 7, 2011 - 20:11

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