Air India, owned by the Tata Group, has signed a letter of intent with Airbus to purchase 250 aircraft worth more than $50 billion at list prices.
The deal includes 210 single-aisle A320neos and 40 wide-body A350s, and the airline will be the first Indian carrier to operate the wide-body aircraft.
The strengthening of strategic partnership between India and France
The virtual launch event for the Air India-Airbus partnership was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, among others.
Modi stated that the deal shows the strengthening of the strategic partnership between India and France, highlighting the growing importance of the Indian aviation sector.
In his address, Prime Minister highlighted the rapid expansion and growth of the civil aviation market in India which will give impetus to greater connectivity between India and the rest of the world and will in turn encourage tourism and business in India.
First step towards manufacturing commercial aircraft in India
The purchase of 250 aircraft marks the first step towards manufacturing commercial aircraft in India. “The order for 250 planes is the first step in not only expanding Air India’s capacity but also in the journey to manufacturing commercial aircraft in India,” said Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran.
Wide-body aircraft to be used for ultra-long flights
The 40 wide-body A350s will be used for ultra-long flights. Air India CEO Campbell Wilson had previously announced the airline’s plans to finalize a historic order of new aircraft. This marks the first time Air India has purchased planes since 2005.
Indian carriers likely to place orders for up to 1,700 planes by 2024
According to aviation consultancy CAPA, Indian carriers are likely to place orders for up to 1,700 planes by 2024. Air India may make the first move with some 500 planes ordered. Currently, Indian carriers operate less than 50 wide-body aircraft, which is insignificant compared to such a significant market.
The acquisition of 250 Airbus aircraft by Air India represents a major step forward for the airline, which has not made any purchases since 2005. The deal, which includes 40 wide-body planes for ultra-long flights, marks a significant move towards expanding Air India’s capacity and potentially manufacturing commercial aircraft in India.
As the Indian aviation sector continues to grow, with the potential for up to 1,700 planes to be ordered by 2024, this deal demonstrates the increasing importance of the industry and the strengthening partnership between India and France.
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