Air India to complete sale of five 777-200LRs by end-June

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Air India has found a buyer for five of its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and expects to complete the transaction by end-June.

A deal has been struck with a leasing company which will take the five aircraft in phases, says the Indian flag carrier's director of finance S Venkat. While he declines to identify the lessor, industry sources say that Kuwaiti leasing company ALAFCO made a bid for the aircraft.

While a deal could have been completed earlier, Venkat says that Air India postponed it in order to keep the 777-200LRs in service because of the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 787 in January.

The airline now expects the 787s to return to service around end-April, allowing it to phase out the five 777s, leaving just two examples in its fleet.

Air India has also shortlisted two companies for the proposed sale and leaseback of its first seven 787s. It hopes to close a deal by end-April, says Venkat.