Air India likely to finalize half of jumbo order, buy 220 planes, claim industry sources


JANUARY 27, 2023

On Friday, Tata-owned Air India is likely to seal half of an order of around 495 jets with engine and Boeing suppliers General Electric and CFM International, said industry sources, as the owners aim to revive the airlines and strongly compete with the rivals. After months of negotiations, Air India will be placing an order of 20 Boeing 787s, 10 Boeing 777Xs and 190 Boeing 737 MAX narrowbody planes on the day which will mark the completion of a year since the Tata Group took back the former state-run carrier’s control, stated the sources while speaking to Reuters.

The order’s second half, which as per industry sources includes 40 Airbus A350 widebody aircraft and 235 Airbus single-aisle jets, is set to be wrapped up formally in the coming days.

Senior Boeing officials, which includes Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ chief executive Stanley Deal, along with CFM and GE executives, are expected to finalise the deal in India on Friday.

Although there were expectations of a single co-ordinated announcement earlier, it is unclear when the company will publicly disclose the deals, especially because of Aero India air show is set to be held in February when the deals of the companies are usually revealed.

Air India sent a note to its employees on Friday, celebrating one year of Tata’s ownership, in which it said that “finalizing a historic order of new aircraft to power future growth”.

Once the deal is finalized, Air India will be placed in the league of large global airlines and it will become an influential customer for suppliers and plane makers at a time when there has been a surge in travel post-Covid in the home market.

According to government data, air traffic of domestic passengers grew by 47%  in India in 2022.

According to analysts, the airline is facing intense competition because of the connectivity carved out by international and domestic rivals.

Courtesy/Source: WION / PTI