PARIS — In a country with a growing middle class, Air India is making orders for 470 Boeing and Airbus aircraft, underscoring the rising desire for more mobility.
220 Boeing planes worth $34 billion are being ordered by Air India. The orders consist of 190 Boeing 737 Max aeroplanes, 20 Boeing 787s, and 10 Boeing 777Xs. Customer options for a further 50 737 MAXs and 20 of its 787s are also included in the deal, bringing the total number of aircraft to 290 for a total cost of $45.9 billion at list price.
In terms of both number and dollar value, it ranks as Boeing’s second-largest transaction ever.
President Joe Biden stated, “This news also demonstrates the strength of the U.S.-India economic engagement. This acquisition will support over 1 million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree. I look forward to furthering our relationship with Prime Minister Modi as we continue to address common global concerns to build a more secure and prosperous future for all of our inhabitants.
On Tuesday, Air India placed a purchase order for 250 Airbus passenger planes.
The airline is buying 40 wide-body A350 Airbus aircraft and another 210 narrow-body A320neo planes, Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in a videoconference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The deal’s financial details, which could be worth tens of billions of dollars, were not made public by the jet manufacturer in Toulouse, France.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in the video call that “this is a historic moment for India, for Air India, and for Airbus.” Amount of the order “exemplifies the aviation industry’s desire for expansion in India. Its growth rate is the highest in the world.”
The second-largest domestic and third-largest international airline in India, Air India, is attempting to reinvent itself by boosting operations and updating its fleet. The new aircraft will give Tata a fighting chance against IndiGo, the country’s leading airline.
The A350s will be used to “fly all ultra long distance throughout the world,” according to Chandrasekaran. Short-haul routes mainly employ single-aisle A320 aircraft. To boost its order, the airline has “major alternatives,” according to him.
Last year, the national carrier’s debt-ridden ownership was reclaimed by Tata Sons, the largest and oldest business in India. When the airline was introduced by the Tata Group in 1932, it was the beginning of commercial aviation in India. In 1953, the government took control of it.
Both Modi and Macron praised the agreement, hailing it as evidence of the growing “strategic relationship” between their nations.
“India is going to be the world’s third-largest market in the aviation sector,” Modi said. Over the next 15 years, it’s estimated that India will need more than 2,000 aircraft and “today’s historic announcement will help in meeting this growing demand,” he said.
Macron called the deal a “new success” in the strategic partnership between India and France and an opportunity to “develop new areas of cooperation with India.”
Tata is integrating Air India with Vistara, which it jointly runs with Singapore Airlines, and with Air Asia India, which it runs with Malaysian discount operator Air Asia.