Mumbai: Air India is aiming for a fleet strength of 200 aircraft in order to match its peers such as Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and Emirates.
The merged Air India-Indian entity is presently in the process of acquiring 111 Boeing and Airbus aircraft which will take its fleet strength to 140 after phasing out some of its old aircraft by 2011.
Even as this project is underway, the airline is now mulling an acquisition of 60 more aircraft from Boeing and Airbus which will make its fleet 200-aircraft strong.
This is to support its ambitious plan to create a European hub, start more non-stop flights to the US and Canada besides new destinations like Australia, Switzerland, Sao Paulo and more destinations in the SAARC region.
Air India’s Board is expected to take a decision on acquiring more aircraft by September which would then be put up before the government for approval, Air India Chairman V Thulasidas told PTI here.
The airline recently started a non-stop daily flight from Mumbai to New York with the acquisition of two Boeing 777-200 LRs and has already scheduled similar flights from New Delhi to New York and later on from Bangalore to San Francisco with the delivery of six more Boeing 777-200 LRs.