Air India on 16 February 2017 inducted the first Airbus 320 neo aircraft into its fleet. The plane is first of the 14 aircraft leased from Kuwait headquartered ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company.
The plane was formally inducted by giving the traditional water canon salute at the international airport in New Delhi. With this induction, Air India became the first CFM powered NEO operator in India.
Airbus 320 neo aircraft, known for burning less fuel, is configured with 162 seats including 12 in the business class. It joins the national carrier’s existing fleet of 66 A320 family planes. With this induction of Airbus 320 neo aircraft, Air India’s fleet size went up to 138 planes.
While inducting the plane into the fleet of Air India, the CMD Ashwani Lohani said a total of 14 A320 neos would be inducted into the fleet in 2017. The CMD also said that the airline is also looking at using these planes for international operations.
With this, Air India became the third airline after IndiGo and Go Air to induct the A320 neo aircraft. It is the first domestic operator of neo plane that is powered by CFM engine; the other two are using the aircraft with Pratt and Whitney engine.
Airbus in a press release said that the India contributes directly and indirectly to all Airbus programmes and every aircraft produced today is partly made in India.
The A320neo family that was launched in 2010 is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with over 5000 orders from 92 customers from across the world. With 5000 orders, it captures almost 60 percent share of the market.
Planes designed for the A320neo planes incorporate the latest technology and includes engines of the new generation with win top devices. In total, its design helps in saving 15 percent fuel.