Air India is looking at delivery of 6 Airbus A350 jets by the end of this year. The airline will lease this aircraft from self established leasing unit. A subsidiary of Air India will establish and headquarter this leasing unit in GIFT City, Gujarat.
Air India leasing unit
National flag carrier, Air India is all set to establish its own leasing firm at GIFT City, Gujarat. The airline will name this leasing firm as ‘AI Fleet Services IFSC Ltd’. Estimated project cost for setting up this new unit is Rs 7,253 crore. Air India is aiming at delivery of 6 former Aeroflot Airbus A350-900 jets, with first aircraft entering into service in October this year.
This proposed leasing entity will lease these widebody jets. It is unclear if this new entity will lease other aircraft like Airbus A320, Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as well. A person in the know told The Hindu Business Line that it is too early to comment and that the airline will consider the viabilities of leasing other aircraft.
Management of leasing firm
These following people will remain at the top management of AI Fleet Services IFSC Ltd :
- Air India CFO Vinod Hejmadi
- Company Secretary of Air India, Kalpana Rao
- Abhijit Menon
Vinod Hejmadi and Abhijit Menon will be the Directors of the proposed entity.
Big development for GIFT City
Aircraft leasing has been one of the most ambitious projects for GIFT City and it seems that the project is slowly coming to life. Before this, Vman Aero Leasing Ltd leased a few helicopters and 2 ATR turboprop jets to FlyBig. The aircraft leasing market in India is not that big as major airlines source their aircraft mostly from United States or European Countries like Ireland & Denmark. Air India investing in an Indian leasing firm is a big development for the country and specially for GIFT City. Several incentives have been provided to the airline. These incentives includes tax benefits for 10 years from business profits. Exemptions will also apply to Goods & Services (GST), Stamp duty, and Capital gain tax.
Air India incoming aircraft
As said earlier, Air India is looking at delivery of 6 Airbus A350 jets by the end of this year. The airline has already operated test flights with 2 of these jets. The new livery, recently unveiled in an event held in Gurugram, Delhi, will adorn these new A350s. Apart from this, Air India Express, the low cost subsidiary is looking at delivery of 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by the end of December 2024. Aircraft, which were initially intended for Chinese Airlines like Okay Airways, China Eastern Airlines, and Shanghai Airlines, will be delivered to the airline. It has already been assigned 10 such aircraft.
Air India recently placed an order of 470 aircraft with both Boeing and Airbus. Apart from this, the airline last year placed lease agreement for 36 Narrow and Widebody jets.
With inputs from The Hindu Business Line