Aviation News

Aviation: Airlines shrug off Covid travel curbs, add 21 aircraft in 2020

New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic brought the travel and aviation sectors on its knees through most of last year, but Indian airlines like IndiGo, Vistara and AirAsia India used the time to induct new planes and replace older ones, ensuring an increasing number of aircraft in the country by 21 to 649 in December 2020 from 628 the same period in 2019.

This increase is lower than 2018, when airlines added about 100 panes and in 2019, when airlines added 29 aircraft, which was despite Jet Airways shutting operations. The biggest contributor to the tally has been IndiGo, which increased its fleet size from 253 to 284 planes despite returning about 13 older Airbus 320 planes during the year.

Vistara, which has big international expansion plans, added 7 aircraft till December-end. The airline says it has a fleet of 45 aircraft and had also returned five old Airbus A320 by till January 20, 2021. AirAsia India added five to its fleet.

SpiceJet saw its fleet reduce substantially by returning about 21 aircraft during the year, shrinking its fleet size to 81 from 102 planes in a year and GoAir saw its fleet size reduced by one aircraft. The budget airline said it returned 15 planes, as part of cost rationalisation. Air India group did not add or return any airplane during the year.

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