Air India inches closer to seal half of jumbo plane order

Air India on Friday will sign half an order for around 495 jets with Boeing and engine suppliers General Electric and CFM International, industry sources said, as the airline’s new owner looks to find a way revive the airline and compete with bigger rivals.

After months of close and closely guarded negotiations, Air India is set to order 190 Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft as well as around 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777Xs on the day that marks one year since the merger. Tata Group took control of this airline. state-owned airline, two sources told Reuters.

The second half of the order, which industry sources have told Reuters includes about 235 Airbus single-aisle jets and around 40 Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft, is expected to be officially completed. in the coming days.

Senior Boeing officials, including Stanley Deal, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, along with GE and CFM executives are expected in India to mark the deal. on Friday.

Despite previous expectations of a single coordination announcement, it remains unclear when either deal could be revealed publicly, especially with the Aero India air show coming up in February. when such arrangements are often disclosed.

Manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, as well as CFM’s joint venture partners GE and Safran, declined to comment.

Air India did not respond to a request for comment but in a note to staff on Friday, marking the one-year anniversary of Tata ownership, the airline said it was “finalizing an order for the new aircraft in the calendar” history to promote future development”.

Reuters reported last month that Air India had closed a deal to buy around 500 jets.

The order, once completed, is intended to bring Air India into the global alliance of major airlines and make it an influential customer for aircraft manufacturers and suppliers at the time. The airline’s domestic market is seeing a dramatic increase in travel after COVID-19.

Government data shows that domestic air passenger traffic in India has grown by 47% in 2022 from a year earlier.

Analysts warn the airline faces fierce competition due to the connectivity of domestic and international rivals.

India, which is about to overtake China as the world’s most populous country, has a large but underserved air travel market dominated by low-cost carrier IndiGo. However, the majority of India’s outbound passenger traffic is carried by Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways.


Under its new owner, Air India is seeking to restore its reputation at home and abroad as a long-established airline with impeccable service and world-class aircraft.

It has brought back into service nearly 20 planes that have been grounded for years due to lack of spare parts and money. The airline also said it will spend more than $400 million to refurbish its entire legacy wide-body fleet of 27 Boeing 787-8s and 13 777s.

The goal is to capture 30% of the domestic market within the next 5 years, thereby closing the gap with the market leader IndiGo. The airline’s chief executive officer, Campbell Wilson, said it also wants to “multiply” its share of international travel.

Tata’s four airlines, including two low-cost carriers, Air India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, have a combined market share of 24%.

Analysts say Air India is likely to win back some passengers from rival Gulf airlines but not before it matches the quality of its fleet and service. The domestic battle with IndiGo also wouldn’t have happened without stiff competition from an expanding carrier.

This story has been published from the electronic agency’s feed without any modification to the text. Only the title has been changed.

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