The Indian government has eased its rules for leasing aircraft, including wet leasing, to address the growing capacity gap in this rapidly recovering market, minister of civil aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said during an event in New Delhi.

"Surprisingly and shockingly, the situation has turned the other way [after the Covid-19 crisis]... Now we do not have enough airplanes to fly our passengers," he said.

The minister did not outline specific steps taken by the government to facilitate leasing, and he did not clarify whether he was referencing last year's changes that extended the maximum duration of a wet lease from three to 12 months or to other more recent changes. Benefiting from the new rules, IndiGo Airlines has been wet-leasing a B777-300(ER) from Turkish Airlines since February 1, 2023, and plans to add another such aircraft from the same operator shortly.

Meanwhile, Air India (AI, Delhi International) CEO Campbell Wilson told Reuters that the flag carrier was out on the market for financing for its recently announced giant order for 470 aircraft, valued, after discounts, at up to USD70 billion. He said that the airline was seeking lessor offers for "portions" of the order, although he also conceded that as deliveries were spread out over time, the carrier would not be seeking full financing at once.

Wilson added that despite a number of high-profile airline bankruptcies in India in the past, including Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways, the backing of new owners Tata Sons was broadening Air India's financing options.

"The benefit of having a strong, patient capital provider like Tata does accord us a lot of flexibility," he stressed.