The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave a go ahead to the sale of five long-haul Boeing 777-200 (long range) aircraft by Air India to Etihad Airways.
Sources said that the sale of these planes,with an average age of of six years,is likely to fetch around $350 million,which the national carrier will use in retiring some of its debt.
Air India had earlier this month finalised the deal with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad. The purchase by Etihad comes as it finalises a new fleet order to meet its organic growth and expansion requirements till 2025 and has also picked up 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways worth over Rs 2,058 crore.
The two airlines had signed a Letter of Intent in October for an undisclosed amount,which was approved by the national carriers board.
The deliveries of these aircraft to Etihad are likely to start around March-April next year,sources said. Etihad has already announced plans to deploy them on long-haul routes like Abu Dhabi-Los Angeles from June next year.
These planes have a design range of 17,370 km,which could allow Etihad to connect almost any city in the world from its Abu Dhabi hub.