• Air India to bid for 23 new routes under RCS

    Poised with the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the National Civil Aviation Policy, Air India is set to bid for connecting 23 routes with the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). Some of its existing routes would also be brought under the ambit of the RCS, said CMD Ashwani Lohani. Additionally, to keep pace with the growing competition in the international airspace, by March 2020, the national carrier will be inducting 100 more aircraft, including few Boeing 787 in 2017, some Boeing 777 (in Q1, 2018),13 new wide-body planes in next two years and 12 A320 neo aircraft are expected in 2017, taking the total aircraft count from 132 to 232.

    As a member of Star Alliance, to be more competitive in the international airspace, the airline has a slew of measures planned. The carrier has come up with a tentative wish list of six new destinations to offer connections in 2017. These destinations are Washington (USA), Toronto (Canada), Tel Aviv (Israel), Stockholm (Sweden) or Copenhagen (Denmark), African region and Frankfurt (Germany).

    Separately, to offer enhanced connectivity, flight frequencies will be increased to Madrid, Sydney and Melbourne. Going ahead in the year, the long neglected subsidiary Alliance Air will be given a push to post profits from the current financial year, and the reach of Air India Express will be expanded. 2018 will again see the addition of another six new destinations to the carrier’s network, affirmed Lohani.

    For the RCS to gain ground, Air India would require 20 more ATRs and to service this influx of additional aircraft and new routes, the carrier would need 200 new pilots, Lohani said. Therefore, the recruitment process of pilots has been set in motion already, he revealed. In this regard, the fleet size will be expanded by 23 ATRs, taking the total count to 72 by December 2017. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Womens Jersey

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