Airbus 320 fleet to be replaced by 30 new aircraft in first phase | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Airbus 320 fleet to be replaced by 30 new aircraft in first phase

mumbai Updated: Nov 24, 2011 00:55 IST
Mohan K Korappath

The National Aviation Company of India Limited (Nacil), which was formed last year after merging Indian Airlines and Air India, is proposing to eliminate the deployment of foreign pilots for its B-777 type aircraft, as well as decommissioning the Airbus 320 fleet, which is over 15 years old. Thirty such aircraft will be phased out initially.

In an email sent to pilots on March 7, Arvind Jadhav, former chairman and director Nacil, states that the management understands the pilots' issues and is devising a path to resolve them to everyone's satisfaction.

"We know that the 'flying hours' is a matter of concern and the issue requires a solution which benefits both the company and the pilots," the letter said.

Apart from decommissioning expat pilots, the letter also mentions initiatives such as induction of more A-320 aircrafts, induction of seven B-787 aircrafts, which would require 40 sets of pilots, as well as increasing flying hours keeping the ground realities in mind.

An affidavit filed in the Bombay high court by Rishabh Kapur, general secretary, ICPA, states that a large number, including 47 operated by the erstwhile Indian Airlines, are over 15 years old.

Kapur states that the management, in its submission to the committee on public undertakings, stated that it had taken a decision to phase out the A-320 and replace them by Boeing-787.

The affidavit cites a statement made by the Nacil management, which informs that "New aircraft will entail a higher capital cost, but will have better passenger appeal, higher operating reliability and will be able to achieve higher aircraft utilisation levels."