NEW DELHI: Air India has no plans to phase out its B747 aircraft which have an average age of about 26 years, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh said Wednesday.
In July last year, British Airways had announced that it will phase out its entire fleet of 31 B747 aircraft due to downturn in travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As on date, there are four B747-400 aircraft in Air India fleet and their average age is about 26 years," Singh stated in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
Currently, three of the four B747 aircraft are under maintenance checks, he mentioned.
"At present, Air India has no plan to phase out the operation of Boeing 747 from the fleet," he stated.
There were around 11 million domestic air passengers in the country from April to June this year, which is 53 per cent less than the January-March period, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh said on Wednesday.
Moreover, a total of 5,637 domestic flights were cancelled in March-June period this year amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, he said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
Due to the COVID-19 second wave and various restrictions imposed by state governments on flights and passengers, full-scale domestic flight operations have not been resumed, he mentioned.
Currently, the Indian carriers are allowed, by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, to operate not more than 65 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.
"The domestic passenger traffic has decreased from over 23 million in January-March 2021 to around 11 million in the April-June period, a decline of around 53 per cent.
This has had an adverse impact on the financial position of the airline industry," the minister noted.
According to the aviation industry data, the total number of employees of domestic airlines has declined from around 74,800 as on March 31, 2020 to around 66,900 as on March 31, 2021, a decline of over 7,900 employees, the minister mentioned.