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AI to soon conclude lease of five Airbus A-320 planes

Air India, which has issued a tender for 12 Airbus A-320s, would soon conclude the lease of five of these aircraft, which would be in an all-economy configuration, airline sources said on Wednesday.

The national carrier's capacity is expected to grow by 9.2 per cent with the addition of six more Boeing 787 Dreamliners to the fleet, they said. As of February this year, the airline has 13 Dreamliners in its fleet out of a total order of 27.

With an enhanced fleet strength, Air India is targeting a domestic load factor of 76.6 per cent in 2014-15 and 74 per cent on the international front. It estimates that the number of passengers is expected to go up by over five per cent. In the current financial year, Air India has projected a passenger revenue of Rs 16,400 crore, a growth of 14.5 per cent over Rs 14,300 crore in 2013-14.
It expects an operating revenue of Rs 21,300 crore compared to Rs 19,200 crore in 2013-14, the sources said.

A major cost reduction was carried out in fuel costs,as despite the spurt in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices and currency fluctuation, Air India curtailed its fuel cost from Rs 2.10 per average seat per kilometre (ASKM) last year to Rs 2.03 per ASKM. The savings were achieved due to the various steps by Air India to implement the fuel efficiency steps and undertaking fuel hedging. The airline also implemented the recommendations of the International Air Transport Association's Fuel Efficiency Gap Analysis, under which IATA teams analyse and pin-point steps which the carriers could take to slash fuel usage and cut carbon emission.
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