Air India To Place Half of Jumbo Plane Order Worth Billions of Dollars
Air India will seal half of an order of some 495 jets, Boeing & engine suppliers General Electric & CFM International. The deal is worth billions of dollars.
In an effort to revitalize the airline and compete with far larger rivals, Air India will on Friday finalize half of a multibillion-dollar contract with Boeing, engine makers General Electric and CFM International, and a total of 495 planes.
On the day that marks one year since Tata Group gained control of the former state-run carrier, Air India is expected to announce an order for 190 Boeing 737 MAX narrowbody aircraft as well as roughly 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777X, according to sources who spoke to Reuters.
It is anticipated that the second half of the deal, which includes roughly 235 Airbus single-aisle jets and around 40 Airbus A350 widebody aircraft, will be formally completed during the next few days.
Senior representatives from Boeing, GE, and CFM are anticipated in India on Friday to celebrate the deal.
It is yet unknown when either deal would be made public, despite early hopes for a single synchronized announcement, particularly with the Aero India air show in February approaching, when deals like this are typically announced.
Boeing and Airbus as well as GE and Safran, which are joint venture partners with CFM, declined to comment. An inquiry for comment from Air India was not answered.
Last month, Reuters reported that Air India was nearing an agreement to purchase approximately 500 aircraft.
When the purchase is completed, it will elevate Air India to the level of major international airlines and position it as a significant buyer for suppliers and planemakers at a time when its domestic market is seeing a significant post-Covid travel boom.
According to government statistics, domestic passenger aviation traffic in India increased 47% in 2022 over the previous year.
Analysts warn that the airline faces fierce competition due to the connectivity that both domestic and foreign competitors have carved out.
India, which is expected to surpass China as the most populous nation in the world, has a sizable, underserved air travel market that is dominated by low-cost airline IndiGo.
However, Middle Eastern carriers like Emirates and Qatar Airways carry the majority of outgoing passenger traffic from India.
IMMEDIATE AIR INDIA Air India hopes to rebuild its status as a storied airline with first-rate service and aircraft of the highest caliber both domestically and abroad under the ownership of its new owners.