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Air India set to phase out three A320 aircraft by December

Air India had decided to replace Airbus Classic A320 aircraft with A320neo aircraft since they are known to be fuel-efficient.

mumbai Updated: May 17, 2018 00:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,air india,aircraft
In April 2014, the national carrier had decided to phase out all 14 Classic A320 aircraft from its fleet by March 2018(HT Photo)

Air India has decided to phase out their remaining three, nearly 30-year-old Airbus Classic A320 aircraft by December due to safety concerns.

In April 2014, the national carrier had decided to phase out all 14 Classic A320 aircraft from its fleet by March 2018.

Implementing the decision, the debt-ridden national carrier had taken off 11 such aircraft from its fleet by 2017.

Airline officials revealed that the remaining three classic A320 aircraft were not being operated frequently.

Nine of the 14 A320 were phased out by 2016, by former chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani.

It was around the same year that Air India’s pilot body, Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), had requested the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ground the Classic A320 planes to ensure passenger safety, terming the single-aisle double-bogey aircraft ‘snag prone’.

“The last three aircrafts are either on stand-by or operate a couple of flights every day,” said an airline official, on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Air India had decided to replace Airbus Classic A320 aircraft with A320neo aircraft since they are known to be fuel-efficient.

The government is to divest 76% in Air India. However, it recently extended the deadline for submitting the Expression of Interest (EoI) to May 31, 2018, and also extended the date for announcing qualified bidders from May 28 to June 15.

First Published: May 17, 2018 00:40 IST