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Seven Air India Planes Leased from Ireland-based SPVs of Chinese Companies: Minister Puri

Air India group has a total of 167 planes in its fleet, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Air India group has a total of 167 planes in its fleet, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Seven narrow-bodied aircraft of the Air India group are leased from special purpose vehicles registered in Ireland set up by Chinese companies, Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Seven of Air India's narrow-body aircraft have been leased from Ireland-based special purpose vehicles (SPVs) of Chinese companies, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday. "Presently, there is no proposal under consideration of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to ban any aircraft leasing entity," he said.

Air India group has a total of 167 planes in its fleet, Puri mentioned. Air India has narrow-body aircraft like B737 as well as wide-body aircraft like B787 in its fleet. A narrow-body aircraft has a smaller fuel tank and therefore, it can fly for shorter distances.

In his written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Puri said the vast majority of the owners or lessors of the aircraft leased to Indian airlines have their registered addresses in Ireland. "A total of seven narrow-bodied aircraft out of a fleet of 167 aircraft of the Air India group of companies are leased from special purpose vehicles registered in Ireland which have been set up by Chinese companies," Puri said.

Tensions between India and China have increased manifold following the Galwan Valley clashes in eastern Ladakh on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army soldiers were killed. The Chinese side too suffered casualties, but it is yet to give out the details. The situation deteriorated again after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30.

India occupied a number of strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions. China has been occupying the areas between Finger 4 and Finger 8. The mountain spurs in the area are called Fingers.

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