Facing increasing competition from budget domestic airlines such as IndiGo and SpiceJet, Air India is all set to introduce Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes in domestic skies.

The airline plans to deploy Dreamliner on high-capacity domestic routes.

A top Air India official says, “Immediately, we need to strengthen the domestic market and increase capacity. We will strengthen the existing routes by adding capacity because there is a huge potential in this market. Slowly, we will introduce Dreamliners in metros like Mumbai — New Delhi route. We find it will be feasible to offer a high-end product like the Dreamliner will do well on these routes.”

Air India currently has 21 Dreamliners in its fleet which are deployed on routes across Europe and Australia.

On Tier II and Tier III city routes, Air India plans to use narrow-bodied Airbus A320s, which are currently deployed on high-capacity routes. The Indian airline will slowly terminate A320s from its Gulf routes and use them on regional routes in order to increase passenger capacity.

The Air India official adds, “With falling ticket prices, the Tier II and Tier III cities are generating a lot of traffic. We will be looking at those cities because the 150-160 seater A320s are the right size of aircraft on such routes.”


Arunima Kumar