Air India (AI, Delhi International) is set to start taking deliveries from its record-breaking order for 470 aircraft later this year, with the first B737 MAX due to arrive in July or August 2023, followed by the first A350 in October or November 2023, Chief Executive Campbell Wilson told The Hindu Group media huddle.

"The bulk of them will start [delivering] from 2025. There are twenty-five A320/1neo coming this year. We wanted to be able to use these aircraft to expand quickly to improve the onboard product and buy some time until we could start taking deliveries reserved for the 470 new aircraft. By the latter half of 2024, a significant majority of our domestic full-service aircraft will be essentially brand new," Wilson explained.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that the airline's narrowbody fleet currently comprises twenty A319-100s, nine A320-200s, twenty-seven A320-200Ns, fourteen A321-200s, and four delivered-but-yet-to-be-inducted A321-200NX. Wilson said that at least nine A319s would be retired in the next 12 months, with "many" other aircraft due to return to their lessors.

Air India's February order comprised 190 B737 MAX, split between B737-8s and B737-10s, 140 A320-200Ns, and seventy A321-200Ns. On top of the renewal of its in-house fleet, Air India is also set to merge with full-service subsidiary Vistara (UK, Delhi International), which currently operates forty-six A320-200Ns, nine A321-200NX, one A321-200NX(LR), and two B737-800s to be retired.

"If you layer in the Vistara aircraft, 75-80% of the aircraft flying in full service will be brand new [in 2024]," Wilson said.

"On the widebody side, eleven B777s and six A350s comprise about a third of our widebody fleet. About a third of the aircraft will be operating with a modern interior product by the end of this financial year," he added.

Air India's widebody fleet currently includes seven B777-200(LR)s (including four second-hand ex-Delta Air Lines units added recently), thirteen B777-300(ER)s, and twenty-seven B787-8s. The carrier's order will see it add twenty B787-9s, ten B777-9s, thirty-four A350-1000s, and six A350-900s, on top of four B787-9s to be integrated from Vistara.