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Lack of spares grounds 15 Air India jets: New Delhi

The Indian government has revealed that 15 aircraft from Air India's fleet have been grounded due to lack of engines and spares.

Responding to queries in parliament, minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha says that as of 6 December, two Boeing 787-8s, three 777s and 10 Airbus A320 family aircraft "were on ground for want of engines and spares".

Air India has a fleet of 123 aircraft.

Sinha adds that due to the grounding of the aircraft, Air India has not been able to add more routes and has had to re-schedule and combine some flights.

The Star Alliance carrier has a long history of well-publicised financial woes.

In October, New Delhi said it was finalising a revival package for Air India that would include financial assistance and a strategy aimed at making it a more competitive carrier.

In his latest response, Sinha says that the revival plan's financial package "[will] help in recovery of grounded aircraft".

Air India has also been trying to raise capital on its own through sale-and-leaseback proposals of its aircraft, in particular the 787s and 777s. It previously indicated that proceeds from the sale of the jets will be used to repay bridging finance on the seven aircraft.

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