Air India has tweaked its Airbus aircraft order to opt for higher capacity A321Neo planes while keeping the order size unchanged.
In February Air India signed a mega order for 470 Airbus and Boeing planes. The Airbus order, which comprises 210 A320/321 Neo planes and 40 A350 aircraft, was finalised in June.
While Air India originally selected 140 A320Neo and 70 A321Neo planes, it has now tweaked the order to opt for 140 A321Neo and 70 A320 planes.
The Airbus A350 order too has been rejigged to comprise 20 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s, instead of six and and 34, respectively.
“We regularly review our order-book based on business requirements and opportunities, and exercise contractual flexibilities as appropriate,” an Air India spokesperson said.
An A321Neo aircraft carries more passengers than an A320Neo and is thus useful for operations in slot-constrained busy airports. Landing charges levied by airports on both type of aircraft are same and thus it allows an airline to earn higher revenue.
“The A321 aircraft helps airlines maximise slot utilisation. In an economy configuration, while an A320Neo seats 186, an A321Neo can seat upto 240. The A321 aircraft is well suited for intermediate international destinations that are about six-hour flights,” said aviation analyst Devesh Agarwal.
Over the past few years, IndiGo too has been growing its A321Neo fleet — from 25 to 79 between March 2020 and March 2023. As of September-end it had 93 planes of them.