Air India has spent $1.80 bn on Boeing Dreamliner
According to Minister of State (Civil Aviation) G.M. Siddeshwara, Air India has entered into a sale and lease-back arrangement for seven of its Boeing 787 aircraft.
“Funding for the same has been arranged by way of Exim Bank-backed loans, with participation of junior lenders,” the minister informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply. “The remaining aircraft have been acquired under a short term bridge financing facility arranged by various Indian and foreign banks.”
Air India has also signed a delay compensation agreement with Boeing in September 2012, as deliveries of some of its aircraft were delayed due to design reasons.
India’s national carrier Air India, the new entrant in the 27-member Star Alliance, is overhauling its systems to take India’s flag carrier to the next level of the global aviation market and meet the challenges arising from the new alliance.
Pankaj Srivastava, director (Commercial) and a board member of Air India, earlier told Asian Lite newspaper that the airline is now targeting the global aviation market with new aircraft and the internationally acclaimed hub facility in Delhi.
He said India’s national carrier will pull out all stops to utilise the opportunities and face the challenges that arise from the deal with the Star Alliance.
He was talking to Asian Lite during the celebrations to mark the first anniversary of Air India re-launching flights to Birmingham. The Star Alliance network counts 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
“The young fleet of Dreamliners and the world-class Delhi airport as a hub can change the fortunes of Air India and the Indian aviation sector,” Srivastava said, adding: “India has the potential to tap the growing global aviation market because of its cost effective systems and its access to the most populous region in the world. The addition of secondary hubs in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkatta will strengthen our network.”
“Dreamliner, the fuel efficient modern aircraft, is helping us to make a turnaround. This is despite the rise in aviation fuel prices and tough competition from aviation market leaders.
“Air India nearly achieved 100 percent efficiency on punctuality in the Birmingham sector. We are expecting the delivery of two more by 2014 November and that will make us more efficient in other sectors.
“Air India’s Dreamliners are now flying to destinations in the Far East, US, Europe and Australia. The alliance with the Star will provide Air India passengers access to lounges of member airlines across the world and single-ticket travel across airlines,” he added.