Air India Set To Seal Multi-Billion Dollar Jumbo Plane Order Today
In an effort to revitalise the airline and compete with far larger rivals, Air India will on Friday finalise half of a multibillion dollar contract with Boeing, engine suppliers General Electric and CFM International, and a total of 495 planes.
On the day that marks one year since Tata Group took control of the former state-run carrier, Air India is expected to announce an order for 190 Boeing 737 MAX narrow body aircraft as well as some 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777X, according to sources who spoke to Reuters.
According to industry sources who spoke to Reuters, the second half of the order calls for roughly 235 Airbus single-aisle planes and about 40 Airbus A350 widebody planes. 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 synchronised 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.
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