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Air India plans to put its grounded aircraft back in air by September

PW Bureau

These planes have been grounded for a long time now due to non-availability of engine spares and also some “dispute” with the engine-maker

New Delhi: State-owned Air India is planning to put its 17 grounded aircraft, including the wide-body ones, back into operation by September this year. Two of these are expected to be re-inducted into the airline’s fleet by June, a senior official said. These planes have been grounded for a long time now due to non-availability of engine spares and also some “dispute” with the engine-maker.

AI to make planes airworthy by Aug-Sept

“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.

Around 12 planes out of these 17 are Airbus family aircraft, three Boeing 777s and remaining two are B787s. In the past, Air India officials have admitted their failure to take full advantage of the grounding of Jet Airways, as some private airlines have done because a part of its fleet was grounded for want of engine spares.

AI will get 6 engines soon

The national carrier is expecting at least six engines to be delivered to it soon. Using these engines, it will be able to get at least two aircraft up and running by June-end.

The official added that engines for B787s will start coming in from June onwards only.

Airline needs 34 engines all in all

The official said that the airline requires 34 engines in all 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 said.