Air India signs pacts with Airbus, Boeing to buy 470 planes

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JUNE 20, 2023

NEW DELHI: Air India on Tuesday firmed up its order of 470 Airbus and Boeing aircraft worth $70 billion at list price.

While announcing the deal this February, AI had signed a letter of intent (LoI) for 400 single and 70 twin aisles of the airframe majors which will start joining its fleet in a couple of months.

This also gives AI options and purchase rights for another 370 planes, making it a potentially 840-aircraft deal.

The LoI was converted into a form order at the ongoing Paris Air Show on Tuesday when the Tata Group airline signed purchase agreements for the 470 aircraft — 190 Boeing 737MAX, 140 Airbus A320neo and 70 Airbus A321neo (400 narrow bodies) and 34 A350-1000, 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 10 Boeing 777X and six A350-900 (70 wide bodies).

Tata Sons and AI chairman N Chandrasekaran said: “This landmark step further positions Air India for long-term growth and success that, we have every hope, will come together to represent the best of modern aviation to the world.”

AI CEO & MD Campbell Wilson said: “Our ambitious fleet renewal and expansion programme will see Air India operate the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft across our route network within five years. We are proud to be working with all our partners in this journey to rebuild a global airline which reflects India taking a more confident posture around the world.”

Satair, an Airbus company, and Boeing Global Services will support AI with a broad range of solutions, including parts and maintenance provisioning, digital applications, and modification services. The Airbus A350 will lead the deliveries of the new aircraft later this year, with the bulk of the order to arrive from mid-2025 onwards. Air India has already started taking delivery of 11 leased B777 and 25 A320 aircraft to accelerate its fleet and network expansion.

Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer said: “We are excited to be a key partner in the reinvention of the Flying Maharaja. Under the leadership of the Tata Group and a focussed new management, this is one of the most ambitious projects in the airline business today. We are proud that the efficiencies, comfort and range capability offered by our latest generation aircraft will contribute to the process, as Air India reclaims its rightful position as a world-class premium carrier. The Airbus services package is a perfect future-oriented choice that will form a core element of Air India’s transformation.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Stan Deal said: “The fuel-efficient mix of next-generation airplanes including the 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777X will sustainably power Air India’s future fleet in the world’s fastest growing commercial aviation market.”


Courtesy/Source: TOI / PTI