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May 9, 2000
Air-India floats global tender for leased aircraft
Air-India has floated a global tender to lease up to eight passenger aircraft for a three-year period, officials from the ailing state-run international carrier said Tuesday.
The airline has "invited offers for dry lease of three to six Airbus and one or two Boeing aircraft," a company official said, adding the move was aimed at expanding services.
He said Air-India planned to add the leased aircraft to its fleet of 26 passenger planes by October this year.
"The airline's strategy now is to improve utilisation of its current fleet, tap routes with potential in a bid to retain its hold on its traditional markets," the official said.
Air-India, which has 17,700 employees and has been posting losses for the past four years, plans to lease a total of 10 aircraft, he said.
Air India's plans to acquire 23 long-range passenger planes at a cost of $ 2.12 billion have yet to take off because of a massive resource crunch facing the company.
In a bid to cut down on its mounting losses Air India in March drew up an early retirement plans to cover more than 60 per cent of its staff.
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