Air India to defer three 777-300ERs

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Air India plans to defer delivery of three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for up to two years.

The three aircraft are among six that are due to be delivered in 2010 and 2011, says an Air India spokesman.

On 31 July Air India said it was talking to Boeing about the cancellation these six aircraft in view of a weak global aviation market. The spokesman confirms, however, that this order has been retained.

India's government has agreed to provide Air India with up to 50 billion Indian rupees ($1.1 billion), conditional on the ailing carrier cutting costs and boosting revenues.

"The government has demonstrated its sincerity and agreed to an equity infusion of 50 billion rupees," India's civil aviation minster Praful Patel told reporters in Mumbai.

But he says he wants Air India over the next two years to cut costs by 30 billion rupees and raise revenue by 20 billion rupees.

Air India has also invited tenders to dry lease out seven of its aircraft, three Boeing 777-200LRs and four Airbus A310 freighters.