Bangalore: Air India has started inducing next generation Airbus A320neo planes that will help it save cost and increase market share.

“Air India has become the latest A320neo operator after taking delivery of the first of 14 aircraft leased from Kuwait’s ALAFCO Aviation Lease And Finance Company, becoming the first CFM powered NEO operator in India," Airbus said in a statement.

Air India has about 140 planes which include about 66 Airbus A320 planes with A320neo being the next generation.

Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani said a total of 14 A320neos would be inducted into the airline’s fleet this year. The national airline has plans to induct a total of 29 A320neos into its fleet by March 2019.

The planes have 162 seats, including 12 in the business class and some planes will also be used for international operations

Air India is the third Indian airline after no-frills airlines IndiGo and GoAir to induct A320neo aircraft but the latter two have bought planes with Pratt &Whitney engines which have been riddled with technical snags.

The performance of Air India’s engines will be known over the coming days as it starts operating them.

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