Indian Airlines is aiming to lease six Airbus A320s in time for the winter schedule in late October, when it hopes to introduce services to Hong Kong.

The leased aircraft, an addition to the airline's planned order for 43 A320 family aircraft, will be needed for up to five years. They will join the airline's 36 A320s, replacing six ageing Airbus A300s, says the state-owned domestic carrier.

Indian Airlines has six A300B2s, which are at least 22 years old, and three of which may be parked. It also has three A300B4-200s, which are around 20 years old.

The airline's order for 43 A320s to replace some aircraft and expand the fleet, remains on hold awaiting government approval. An initial agreement was reached with Airbus earlier this year.

The Calcutta-Hong Kong route will be served twice weekly using A320s if government approval is granted, says Indian. Flights to Jeddah from Mumbai are also under consideration.

Meanwhile, Indian Airlines is trying to lure more passengers with discounts for fares bought more than three weeks in advance, and an air pass valid for a week, designed to appeal to domestic tourists.

Source: Flight International