Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) has signed lease contracts covering thirty aircraft, comprising five B777-200(LR)s and twenty-five A320neo Family narrowbodies. Deliveries are scheduled for 2022 and 2023.

"After a long time without significant growth, Air India is delighted to resume expanding its fleet and global footprint. These new aircraft, together with existing aircraft being returned to service, address an immediate need for more capacity and connectivity, and mark a strong step forward. Air India has exciting expansion and renewal plans, of which these new aircraft are just the beginning," Chief Executive Campbell Wilson said.

The B777-200(LR)s are ex-Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) stock and are expected to deliver between October 2022 and March 2023. Air India plans to deploy them on its routes to the United States and will use them to add services from Mumbai Int'l to San Francisco, CA, Newark, and New York JFK, and from Bangalore Int'l to San Francisco. It said it would keep the premium economy seats outfitted by Delta, making these five aircraft the only in its fleet to offer this class. The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows that all of Delta's B777-200(LR)s are configured for 122 passengers in the economy class, 90 in economy plus, 48 in economy premium, and 28 in business.

The aircraft will complement three B777-200(LR)s currently operated by Air India, but which have been slated for sale.

In terms of narrowbody aircraft, the airline will lease four A321-200Ns due for delivery in the first quarter of 2023 and a further twenty-one A320-200Ns due in the second half of 2023. The airline did not disclose the identity of the aircraft but said they would be used domestically and on short-haul international routes.

The carrier's current narrowbody fleet comprises twenty A319-100s, nine A320-200s, twenty-seven A320-200Ns, and twenty A321-200s. Subsidiary Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) operates twenty-four B737-800s.

The new order is the first fleet decision since the reprivatisation of Air India. The Tata Sons-owned carrier is expected to place a much more sizeable order for its long-term fleet needs with deliveries expected after 2024.