Following IndiGo’s huge order for 500 A320 Family aircraft announced at Paris Air Show, Air India, a Tata Group-owned global airline, today signed purchase agreements to acquire 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing. These orders are the next step in Air India’s US$70 billion (based on list prices) fleet expansion programme that it announced in February this year.
Air India’s firm orders include 34 A350-1000 aircraft, six A350-900s, 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 10 Boeing 777X widebody aircraft, as well as 140 Airbus A320neo, 70 Airbus A321neo and 190 Boeing 737 MAX narrowbody aircraft.
The Airbus A350 will lead the deliveries of the new aircraft later this year, with the bulk of the order to arrive from mid-2025 onwards. The Air India order marks the entry into service of the widebody A350 in India, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market.
Air India has already started taking delivery of 11 leased Boeing 777 and 25 A320 aircraft to accelerate its fleet and network expansion.
N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons and Air India, said of the signings: “This landmark step further positions Air India for long-term growth and success that, we have every hope, will come together to represent the best of modern aviation to the world.”
Air India has also laid plans with Airbus to help ensure the highest level of fleet availability through the Integrated Materials Solutions (IMS) from Satair, an Airbus subsidiary. The Airbus-powered maintenance programme will ensure that rotable or a consumable parts are readily available every time Air India needs them, and the stocks are automatically replenished. And as part of its transformation and digitalisation journey, Air India will be the launch customer for Skywise Core X3, Airbus’ latest and most advanced aviation analytics platform.
Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD of Air India, said: “Our ambitious fleet renewal and expansion programme will see Air India operate the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft across our route network within five years. We are proud to be working with all our partners in this journey to rebuild a global airline which reflects India taking a more confident posture around the world.”
“We are excited to be a key partner in the renaissance of the Flying Maharaja,” added Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer and head of international at Airbus. “Under the leadership of the Tata Group and a focussed new management, this is one of the most ambitious projects in the airline business today. We are proud that the efficiencies, comfort and range capability offered by our latest-generation aircraft will contribute to the process, as Air India reclaims its rightful position as a world-class premium carrier. The Airbus services package is a perfect future-oriented choice that will form a core element of Air India’s transformation.”