Fleet acquisition helped Air India cut losses: Jadhav

"The question is why is Air India buying aircraft when it is supposedly in a tailspin. The point here is that even if we had not bought the aircraft, we would have been in double tailspin," National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) CMD Arvind Jadhav said at a function here today.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee Standing Commitee on Transport, Tourism and Culture in its latest report had said that Air India's aircraft acquisition programme was finalised in haste and without sufficient homework.
In the event of Air India not going in for aircraft acqusition to replace its old fleet, the situation would have been worse than what it is today. "We would have hit the ground much faster probably then," he said.

Stressing that the national carrier placed orders for buying 111 aircraft in a bid to match the demand and passengers' expectations, Jadhav said what was required today was "the right product for the right customer".

"We had an older aircraft operating on the Delhi-Tokyo sector. We changed it to a (latest) Boeing-777. So long we had old planes, we were losing Rs 40-45 crore annually.
"Once we put a new plane (on a sector), from the first month itself it started showing profits," the NACIL Chief claimed, adding that "the Japanese liked the plane and they started travelling back with Air India."

The Committee, in its report, had questioned the logic behind the purchase of a large number of aircraft simultaneously when many were being taken on lease by Air India and the aviation industry was suffering huge losses.
It also recommended that NACIL continue to function as the holding company, while the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines carry out operations as NACIL-A and NACIL-I with different fleets and operational models and capabilities.

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