In a selection of aircraft between the world’s two biggest manufacturers, Air India is building up its airliner fleet for its expected travel demands from India’s emerging middle class.
Air India is ordering 220 Boeing aircraft valued at around USD34 billion, making this Boeing’s second largest aircraft sale of all time in quantity and the third biggest sale in dollar value.
The order includes 190 737 MAX aircraft, 20 Boeings 787s and 10 Boeing 777Xs. There is also an option for an additional 50 Boeing 737 MAXs and another 20 Boeing 787s. This is a total of 290 aircraft for the US manufacturer for a total of USD45.9 billion.
US President Joe Biden said, “This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states,and many will not require a four-year college degree. This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership. Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges—creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens.”
Air India becomes the 11th customer for the Boeing 777X, following in the footsteps of British Airways, Emirates and ANA.
“Air India’s selection of Boeing’s family of passenger jets shows their confidence in our products and services in the world’s fastest growing aviation market, and their decision will support engineering and manufacturing jobs at Boeing factories in Washington state, South Carolina and across our supply base. With the industry-leading fuel efficiency of the 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777X, Air India is well positioned to achieve its expansion plans and become a world-class global airline with an Indian heart,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Air India made sure Airbus was not left out by placing an order for 250 Airbus passenger aircraft.
This includes 40 wide-body A350 Airbus aircraft made up of six A350-900s and 34 A350-1000s.
Another 210 narrow-body A320NEOs made up of 70 A321NEOs and 140 A320NEOs.
As with Boeing, Air India has options for additional aircraft. However Airbus did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, which is estimated at tens of billions of dollars.
“This is a historic moment for India, for Air India and for Airbus. The size of the order demonstrates the appetite for growth in the Indian aviation industry. It’s the fastest growing in the world,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.
Air India is India’s largest international carrier and second-largest domestic carrier. Air India is expanding its operations and modernizing its fleet to compete against India’s other dominant carrier, IndiGo.
Tata Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said the A350s will be used to fly ultra-long distance routes across the world, whereas the Single-aisle A320s will be used on short-haul routes.
The A350 order re-introduces Airbus wide-body aircraft into the Air India fleet, with Air India having previously operated A300s, A310s, and A330s.
The Tata Group pioneered commercial aviation in India when it launched Air India in 1932, which was then was taken over by the Indian government in 1953. Last year Tata regained ownership of Air India.
“India is going to be the world’s third-largest market in the aviation sector. Over the next 15 years, it’s estimated that India will need more than 2,000 aircraft,” said Indian Prime Minister Modi.
The order by Air India for 470 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft is valued at USD68 billion.
The previous biggest order for airliners goes back to June 2011 when American Airlines placed an order of 460 aircraft, totalling at that time USD38 billion.