Air India seeks to lease 19 Airbus A320 planes
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Air India Ltd AIN.UL is seeking to lease 19 Airbus (EAD.PA) A320 short-haul aircraft as the money-losing carrier seeks to cut costs, the state-run company said on Tuesday.
It plans to take delivery of up to seven aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the remainder in two phases by fiscal year 2015/16.
The leasing is to "reduce costs and optimize revenue", an Air India spokesman said, without elaborating. The new planes could help replace some of its ageing aircraft and save on fuel costs.
Air India, which counts itself as one of the launch customers of the A320 aircraft, acquired 31 planes between 1989 and 1993. It added 43 A320 family aircraft between 2006 and 2010.
The state-run carrier currently operates a fleet of 106 planes, with 80 of those owned by it. The fleet also includes aircraft made by Boeing (BA.N), Europe's ATR (EAD.PA) (SIFI.MI) and Bombardier (BBDb.TO) of Canada.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy)
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