Disinvestment-bound flag carrier Air India will phase out its remaining three Classic A320 planes, which are nearly three decade old, from the fleet by the end of this year. The airline had in April 2014 announced its plans to retire all 14 single-isle double-bogey wheel planes from its fleet in a phased manner after it decided to induct more fuel-efficient Airbus A320 neo planes into operations. Air India has already removed 11 classic A320 planes out of operations and the remaining three such aircrafts will be going out of the fleet by December this year, a senior company official told PTI. The official said that though these planes are still flying, but they are carrying out limited operations.
“Most of the time these planes are on a stand-by mode and they perform one or two schedule flight in a day,” the official said. Earlier, the carrier had planned to retire these planes by March this year. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) – one of Air India’s pilots’ bodies – had in 2015 termed these aged planes as “lethal and snag-prone” and demanded their grounding from aviation regulator DGCA in order to ensure passengers’ safety.