Air India expects 17 grounded aircraft to get back into operations

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State-run Air India is likely to get back into operations all its 17 grounded aircraft, including the wide body ones, by September this year with two of them are expected to join the operating fleet as soon as June, a senior Air India official said.

These planes are grounded since a long time now due to the non-availability of engine spares and also some “dispute” with the engine maker, the official said.

Of these 17 planes, 12 are Airbus family aircraft, three Boeing 777s and remaining two B787s.

“In our jet shops, we are awaiting for spares, which are pending due to some pending issue, which we have to resolve. We are trying to make them airworthy by August-September. But we are trying to make all these planes airworthy by August-September,” the official said.

Air India officials have in the past admitted their failure to take advantage of the grounding of Jet Airways, unlike some private carriers, due to a part of its fleet out of operations on account of engine spares.

Stating that since as many six engines will be delivered to Air India soon at least two of the three grounded B777s may become operational by June-end.

He, however, said that engines for the B787s will start coming in from June onwards only.

According to the official, all in all 34 engines will be required for the 17 grounded planes.  “But we have a road map. We have a jet shop facility in Delhi, which would give us 4-5 engines in a month. It will start producing once the spares come,” he added.

As per the official, while $3.5 million is required per engine for an A320 plane, the amount for making a wide-body aircraft engine airworthy is much higher. 

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