Tata Group-owned international budget airline Air India Express may add four Boeing 737 planes to its fleet of 24 aircraft by this year-end to meet the increased demand for international travel, airline sources privy to the information have said.
Following the removal of various pandemic-related curbs, aviation is picking up and demand has bounced back and dry leasing is an option to enhance capacity in the short-term, they said.
Air India Express currently has 24 Boeing 737 planes in the fleet. It lost one plane in the Kozhikode plane crash in August 2020.
"Demand for international travel has bounced back after the removal of most of the pandemic-related restrictions on travel. Loads (passenger on aircraft) are good and all the routes are doing well. Of course, there are some seasonal variations, which have been factored in," a source told PTI.
“In the short-term, the airline might take four aircraft on dry lease to increase capacity for the interim period,” the source said, adding that the new aircraft will be utilized to enhance frequency on certain routes.
A query sent to Air India Express did not elicit a response.
"You can't open new routes with four additional aircraft. These planes will only be used for increasing frequency and consolidation of the existing routes," a source said.
Air India Express currently operates to 11 air