Air India to phase out remaining Airbus Classic A320s

Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani says the airline has already retired nine A320s from its fleet and the remaining six planes are likely to go out of service by March 2018


As a replacement, Air India plans to induct a total of 29 A320 Neos into its fleet by March, 2019. Photo: Mint
As a replacement, Air India plans to induct a total of 29 A320 Neos into its fleet by March, 2019. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: State-owned carrier Air India will be phasing out its remaining aged Airbus Classic A320 planes by this fiscal.

The airline has already retired nine A320s from its fleet and the remaining six planes are likely to go out of service by March next year, Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani told PTI.

The over two-decade-old classic A320, unlike modern aircraft, has a set of bogey wheels. Bogey wheels are a set of four tyres making up one wheel.

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“We have already retired 9 out of 15 Classics and plan to retire two more in the next two-three months. The remaining four Classics will be phased out by March, 2018,” Lohani said.

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA)—one of Air India’s pilots’ body—while terming the planes as “lethal and snag-prone” had two years back urged the aviation regulator DGCA to ground these planes and ensure passenger safety.

In order to facilitate replacement of its old fleet, the national carrier has already commenced induction of A320 Neo (new engine option) planes, 14 of which are being procured on lease this year. The airline plans to induct a total of 29 A320 Neos into its fleet by March, 2019.

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