Air India (AI, Delhi International) is planning to add six second-hand B777-200s and twenty-five A320-200Ns by the first quarter of 2023 to renew its fleet in the short-term before it can take deliveries of new aircraft, the Economic Times has reported.

The widebodies will be ex-Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) aircraft and are expected to deliver to Air India by October 2022. They will be used on the carrier's most lucrative US routes.

The ch-aviation fleets history module shows that Delta Air Lines retired ten B777-200(LR)s and eight B777-200ERs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three -200(LR)s are due to be converted into freighters for Cargojet Airways (W8, Hamilton, ON), while one -200(ER) has been acquired by the Arizona Cardinals football franchise and is operated by Jet Aviation Flight Services (JAS, Teterboro). The remaining aircraft are in storage. Air India did not clarify which of the two variants it would add, and did not respond to ch-aviation's request for comment. It currently operates three -200(LR)s but is planning to sell them.

According to earlier reports, the dry-lease of the B777s will be for two years.

The A320neo will be sourced from the open market, and their identity has yet to be confirmed. They are scheduled to start delivering in early 2023 and will be used primarily on domestic routes.

The carrier's regional unit, Air India Express (IX, Delhi International), will, in turn, add five B737-800s currently operated by Vistara (UK, Delhi International). The full-service sister carrier, which is a joint venture between Air India's parent Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines Group, took nine Boeing widebodies after the collapse of Jet Airways (JAI, Mumbai International), despite being hitherto an A320 Family operator. Four of these aircraft have since been returned to the lessors, but the other five leases were extended by Tata Sons and will soon be transferred to Air India Express. Vistara will then no longer operate any B737s.

Air India Express currently operates twenty-four B737-800s, according to the ch-aviation fleets module.

Air India is in the final stages of negotiating an order for at least 200 aircraft, including both narrow- and wide-bodies. However, the airline does not expect to take any of these aircraft before 2024 due to limited delivery slots.