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First Airbus A321neo aircraft arrives at Air India.

In 2023, the airline will begin receiving further aircraft.

Recently, an Airbus A321neo, Air India’s newest narrowbody aircraft, was added to the fleet. It’s interesting to note that despite the airline’s single-aisle fleet consisting solely of Airbus A320 family aircraft, including A321s, this is the first A321neo of the most recent generation to join the fleet.

The first A321neo owned by Air India

A day after revealing that the aircraft had left Airbus’ base in Hamburg, Air India announced the introduction of an Airbus A321neo on March 26. The first A321neo (with CFM LEAP 1A Engines) to join the Air India fleet is this one. According to Christian Scherer, the Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International at Airbus,

For both Air India and Airbus, this is a momentous occasion. India is about to see a revolution in international air travel, and we are honored that our collaboration with the Tatas and our aircraft solutions will open a new chapter in the nation’s aviation connectivity. The A321neo headed for Air India has being closely monitored by Simple Flying.

According to reports from last month, the plane had its first test flight, taking off from Hamburg and flying across northern Germany for more than two hours.

Air India now operates 70 narrowbody Airbus A320 family aircraft, including 14 A321ceos, according to ch-aviation. The newest aircraft, which will be its 71st narrowbody, will be added to the A320 family of aircraft, which is used for the majority of AI’s domestic operations.

Not covered by the most recent Airbus order

But, Air India’s most recent deal with Airbus does not include the new A321neo. Last month, the airline made sizable orders totaling 470 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus. 250 aircraft made up Airbus’ portion of these, including 140 and 70 A320neos. At the end of January, the backlog for A320neo models was more than 7,000 aircraft.

Although the environment is still complicated, Airbus is working to reach a production pace of 65 aircraft per month by this summer. So, it is reasonable for Air India to anticipate that the jets from its order will be ready in a few more years.

Yet in order to satisfy its immediate operational needs, it wants to lease more than 35 aircraft, including the most recent A321neo. The latest aircraft was originally intended for Russia’s Smartavia, but because of the country’s sanctions, other aircraft with a destination in Russia have ended up with various carriers.

Fast expansion

By adding new aircraft and reactivating some of its grounded fleet, the Tatas moved quickly to increase Air India’s capacity. Along with the addition of long-range Boeing 777s that were formerly owned by Delta Air Lines, the Tata Group also fixed numerous AI aircraft that had been grounded for many years due to a lack of funding.

The airline also agreed to lease six A320neo aircraft from CDB Aviation last year; these aircraft will be delivered in the second half of 2023. Undoubtedly, as the year goes on, the airline will make a lot more announcements of this nature.

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