Indian airline surprises aviation world with mega order of 470 aircraft

Indian airline surprises aviation world with mega order of 470 aircraft

NEW DELHI – India’s famous airline, Air India has stunned the aviation world by placing orders for whopping 470 Boeing and Airbus passenger jets.

AirIndia is country’s largest international airline and it has made headlines with the purchase of 220 Boeing aircraft valued at $34bn and 250 passenger jets from manufacturer Airbus.

The mind bending deal is Airbus’ third-largest sale of all time, in dollar value, and its second of all time in terms of quantity.

The deal is so big that even the US President Joe Biden termed the agreement ‘historic’ and discussed it telephonically with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Air India is eyeing to capture the market dominated by middle-class Indians and is putting in efforts to expand its operations and modernise its fleet. The airline’s owner firm, Tata is also challenging its rival IndiGo on multiple fronts.

“India is going to be the world’s third-largest market in the aviation sector,” Modi said in conversation with Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The premier said India will need more than 2,000 aircraft over the next 15 years and the deal would help meet the growing demand. On the other hand, Macron called the deal a “new success” and an opportunity to “develop new areas of cooperation with India”.

The Boeing order includes 190 737 Max aircraft, 20 of its 787s and 10 of its 777Xs while the total worth of the deal is unknown as Airbus has not disclosed it. An interesting aspect of the deal is that India can buy an additional 370 planes from the manufacturers, possibly taking the number of planes to 840.

Commenting on the deal, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the Indian aviation industry is the fastest growing in the world.

Asia in general and India in particular has seen a rising demand for airtravel fuelled by hosts of factors including the growth of middle class that now prefers airtravel for leisure and work.

Tata Sons had taken over the debt-ridden airline last year and the group seems to signal recovery of the carrier with the latest deal that has sent thunderbolt through the aviation world.

Meanwhile, when it comes to volume, Airbus is also a reputed name and is a leader in designing, manufacturing and delivering aerospace products, services and solutions. The firm boasts around 130,000 employees who deliver services to the global community.