Air India- India’s flagship airline, newly acquired by the Tata Group, dominated news at the Paris Airshow by signing massive deals with Airbus and Boeing.
A purchase agreement has been inked for 250 Airbus aircraft- including A320neo (140), A321neo (70), A350-1000 (34) and A350-900 (6), read a statement by Airbus. Air India has also confirmed a deal with Boeing for 220 aircraft, including 737 Max (190), 787 Dreamliners (20) and 777X jets (10).
These aircraft will bolster Air India’s fleet, with the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircrafts across their network, within five years according to Campbell Wilson, the company’s chief executive and MD. It is also furthering Air India’s goal to cater to India’s ever-expanding base of commuters and diaspora by offering more long-haul flights directly from India.
According to Barclays report from June, India has become a central point of focus for the global aerospace and defence industries, with one of the highest traffic growth rates globally- all making it the most important new aircraft market in the world. With over 6% share of the industry backlog, second only to the US, Indian aircraft carriers have the second largest order book, Barclays also said.
As per Boeing’s commercial market outlook, the next 20 years could see South Asia more than triple its in-service fleet to meet demand, a whopping increase from 700 to 2,300 aircrafts. These deals also cement Air India’s key goals to renew its fleet, improve services and expand its route networks- both domestically and internationally.