Air India’s board clears 787 sale-leaseback arrangement

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Air India could operate its Boeing 787 aircraft under a sale and leaseback arrangement, and has plans to lease out older aircraft.

Air India made the announcement after its board met to discuss the carrier's operations and progress with its restructuring programme. The board has given the state-owned carrier permission to issue a request for proposal in regard to a 787 sale and leaseback arrangement, although final approval of such a deal will need the approval of India's government.

The board also decided that Air India can lease out two 747-400s and "some" 777-200LR aircraft after the induction of the 787.

Air India is likely to receive its first 787 in early 2012.

Air India added that October's passenger revenue grew by 5.2% from a year earlier despite a 2.9% reduction in capacity. It carried 4.9% more passengers for October and its passenger load factor improved by 2.6%.

The carrier added that it continues to suffer from higher fuel, wage and interest costs.