Air Canada, Thai Airways International, Garuda Indonesia and Reunion Island-based Austral have expressed interest in subleasing Boeing 777-200LRs and 777-300ERs from Air India.

Earlier this year Air India announced plans to lease out a large portion of its new 777 fleet as part of a cost cutting programme. Air India chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav says the carrier has so far received responses from Air Canada, Thai, Garuda and Air Austral.

"There are four responses. We are evaluating them," Jadhav told ATI during a Star Alliance event in Sao Paulo.

Air India is in the process of joining Star while Air Canada and Thai are already in the alliance.

Air India initially indicated it was seeking to lease out nine 777s. But Jadhav says the carrier is now negotiating subleases on six aircraft - a mix of 777-200LRs and 777-300ERs.

"We got six to lease out," he says. "The evaluation is going on right now."

Jadhav declined to say when a deal would be concluded. He says the carrier is now looking at when it can remove the aircraft from its operation and when the four interested carriers are able to take the aircraft.

"We are looking at the timelines," Jadhav says. "The timelines have to match up."

According to Flightglobal's ACAS database, Air India currently operates eight 777-200LRs and 10 777-300ERs. All 17 of these aircraft are less than three years old.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news