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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Air India orders 470 planes in the largest ever plane deal by number of aircraft

Air India said the deal was worth USD 70 billion at list prices, though airlines typically get discounts on big orders worth at least half the headline price, analysts say

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 21.06.23, 06:24 AM
Air India’s deal includes 250 planes from Airbus and 220 from Boeing.

Air India’s deal includes 250 planes from Airbus and 220 from Boeing. File picture

India dominated the Paris Airshow for a second day on Tuesday as Air India finalised a huge order for 470 planes from Airbus and Boeing.

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.

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Finalising 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.

Efforts by Indian airlines to keep pace with the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, serving the largest population, have sent industry records tumbling even though manufacturers are struggling to meet output goals due to supply chain snags.

But some analysts have expressed concern that airlines could be over-ordering jets in pursuit of the same passengers.

Air India’s deal includes 250 planes from Airbus and 220 from Boeing. The Airbus part comprises 210 A320neo and A321neo narrowbody jets and 40 A350 widebodies. Boeing’s deal is for 190 narrowbody 737 MAXs, plus 20 787 Dreamliner and 10 777X widebodies.

“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,” Air India chief executive Campbell Wilson said in a statement.

The buying spree by Indian airlines adds to signs of strong global demand for civilian aircraft as travel rebounds from the pandemic and airlines look to reduce their environmental impact with more fuel-efficient new models. Reuters

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