Government-run Air India has put into operation its newly-leased Airbus A320 Neo with its maiden flight arriving in Chennai from New Delhi.
The first A320 Neo aircraft with 161 passengers on board touched down at the Chennai International Airport from the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 8.30 pm on Thursday, the airline said in a release.
The national carrier had inducted the latest fuel-efficient aircraft from European aviation major Airbus in its fleet on February 16.
The A320 New Engine Option aircraft is configured with 162 seats, including 12 in the business class. Air India has plans to induct a total of 29 A320 Neos into its fleet by March 2019.
The fuel-efficient Airbus A320 Neo aircraft is highly environmental-friendly with reduced noise levels and 50% less carbon emissions, the airline said in the release.
The airline has already tied-up with three lessors -- ALAFCO, GECAPS and CIT -- for 22 planes, and the process to select a bidder for the remaining seven such planes is underway.
Air India has already announced that it will induct 13 more such planes in the fleet in this calendar year.
The flag carrier is the third domestic airline after IndiGo and GoAir with A320 Neo aircraft. Also, the national carrier is the first domestic operator of A320 Neo plane that is powered by CFM engine since the other two are using the aircraft having Pratt & Whitney engine.