Air India, the Tata-owned airline has placed a massive deal of 470 aircrafts with French planemaker Airbus and US-based aircraft maker Boeing. The order is one of the largest for any airline in the world and is estimated to be worth USD 80 billion (over Rs 6.40 lakh crore). Under the agreement with the plane makers, Air India will buy both narrow-body and wide-body planes. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Air India-Airbus transaction as a “landmark deal”, US President Joe Biden hailed the agreement as “historic”.
Air India will buy 250 aircrafts from European aviation major Airbus, and 220 planes from US aircraft maker Boeing under separate deals. This is also the first time in more than 17 years that Air India, which was acquired from the government by Tata Group in January 2022, has ordered planes. According to Air India, the first of the new aircraft will enter service in late 2023 and the bulk of the planes are to arrive from mid-2025 onwards. A350 will be utilised for ultra-long haul.
Tata-owned @airindiain to acquire 250 Airbus aircraft
– A350 aircraft of choice for Air India’s renaissance in long haul travel
– A320 Family consolidates its leading position in India https://t.co/QMiEYKySHx pic.twitter.com/fmudPWBLuP
— Airbus Newsroom (@AirbusPRESS) February 14, 2023
Air India-Airbus Deal
Under the deal with Airbus, Air India will buy 250 aircrafts and the order comprises of 40 Airbus A350 wide body plane, as well as 210 Airbus A320/321 Neos single aisle narrow body planes. The A350 aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines, while the single-aisle aircraft will be powered by engines from CFM International, Air India said in a statement.
The announcement of the aircraft purchase deal with Airbus was made at an online event that was attended by Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron, Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Piyush Goyal, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson and Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.
Macron said Air India’s deal with Airbus for the acquisition of 250 aircraft was one of the milestones of the in-depth strategic and friendly partnership between India and France.
Air India-Boeing Deal
As per the agreement with Boeing, Air India will get 220 planes, with 20 Boeing 787s wide body plane, 10 Boeing 777-9s wide-body aircraft, and 190 Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft. The Boeing 777/787s will be powered by the engines from GE Aerospace.
In an announcement, the White House said Boeing and Air India have reached an agreement under which the airline will purchase 220 planes from Boeing — 190 B737 MAX, 20 B787, and 10 B777X — for USD 34 billion. There will be an option to buy 70 more aircraft that could take the total transaction value to USD 45.9 billion.
Modi and President Biden welcomed the announcement of the landmark agreement between Air India and Boeing as a “shining example of mutually beneficial cooperation that will help create new employment opportunities in both countries”, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
In a message to Air India staff, CEO Campbell Wilson said “The firm part of the order alone is not just the largest order ever made by an Indian airline, it is one of the largest single aircraft orders by any airline, anywhere, ever, and testifies to India’s unique combination of extraordinary scale and growth opportunity.”
Tata Sons and Air India Chairman N Chandrasekaran said the orders are an important step in realising Air India’s ambition, articulated in its Vihaan.AI transformation programme, to offer a world-class proposition serving global travellers with an Indian heart. “These new aircraft will modernise the airline’s fleet and onboard product, and dramatically expand its global network”.
Air India-Rolls Royce Deal
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed a multi-billion-pound deal by Airbus and Rolls-Royce to supply new aircraft to Air India as a landmark moment for the country’s aerospace sector and reiterated his commitment to continue building ties with India.
In a tweet, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the historic agreement between Air India and Airbus is a testimony to the growing importance of civil aviation.
Air India, earlier under the ownership of the government, had acquired new aircraft more than 17 years ago.
The airline’s last order was for 111 planes — 68 from Boeing and 43 from Airbus — and that deal was worth USD 10.8 billion. The order was placed in 2005.
With PTI inputs