The last few days may have brought bad news to both Boeing and Airbus in the form of order cancellations, which have put both manufacturers in an unenviable situation of being negative on their net order book for 2009.
They can take heart in the procurement actions of India’s national carrier Air India, which will be taking delivery of ordered aircraft.. By September end, Air India, would add 13 aircraft to its existing 154.
On Friday the low cost subsidiary Air India Express inducted another Boeing 737-800 aircraft increasing its fleet size to 21 aircraft. The new aircraft inducted has ‘shikara on the Dal Lake in Kashmir’ on one side of the tail and an ‘image of a large expanse of the Rajasthan Desert’ on the other side. The tail designs are an innovative and novel feature of the Air India Express fleet. Each of the aircraft showcases the picturesque landscapes, monuments, birds, animals, handicraft and dances of India on both sides of the tail.
The airline will launch it’s once a week flight Srinagar to Dubai from February 14, 2009. The airline is expected to increase frequency on the Chennai-Trichy-Dubai route from three flights a week to seven flights a week, on the Chennai-Hyderabad-Dubai route from three to four flights a week, and on the Trichy-Kuala Lumpur sector from three to six flights a week.
On Monday, Air India will take delivery of three Airbus A321-200s which will be deployed on domestic routes in India.
Air India has the largest number of fixed assets in the Indian aviation industry. It has placed orders for 111 new aircraft, estimated at Rs 40,000 crore ($8.3 billion), and these will be delivered in three years. The airline is expected to post losses of Rs 3,000 crore ($625 million) in the current fiscal, but expects an equity infusion of Rs. 2,000 crore ($417 million) by the Government of India, by March.