Paris Air Show Dominated By Indian Carriers; Air India Signs Deal With Boeing
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – India dominated the Paris Airshow, as Air India finalized a huge order for 470 planes from Airbus and Boeing. Air India, the Tata Group-owned airline, on June 20 signed purchase agreements going one step further in its $70 billion fleet expansion program that it had announced in February this year.
The purchase agreements were signed on the sidelines of the ongoing Paris Air Show. Air India’s orders include 34 A350-1000, six A350-900, 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 10 Boeing 777X widebody aircraft, as well as 140 Airbus A320neo, 70 Airbus A321neo and 190 Boeing 737MAX narrowbody aircraft.
“Our ambitious fleet renewal and expansion program 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,” said Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD, Air India.
According to airline officials, Satair, an Airbus company, and Boeing Global Services will support Air India with a broad range of solutions, including parts and maintenance provisioning, digital applications, and modification services.
“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,” an official said.
The agreement, when sketched out in February, was the largest ever plane deal by number of aircraft. But it was surpassed on day one of the Paris show by Indian rival IndiGo’s order for 500 Airbus narrowbody jets.
Finalizing the deal puts it in the aerospace industry’s order backlogs as firm orders. Until now, it was only a preliminary deal. Air India said it was worth $70 billion at list prices, though airlines typically get discounts on big orders worth at least half the headline price, analysts say.
Its renaissance under the Tata conglomerate aims to capitalize on India’s growing base of fliers and large diaspora, currently mostly served by foreign rivals such as Emirates.
The mega-order will also put Air India on a stronger footing to compete with budget rival IndiGo, which has a majority share of the Indian market and a strong position in regional flights.