Know about Air India's massive new 470 aircraft deal
Air India's recent mega order of 470 planes to Airbus and Boeing could grow even larger, as the Tata Sons-owned carrier has the option to purchase an additional 370 planes from these manufacturers. While the airline will receive 250 aircraft from Airbus, it will get 220 from Boeing, Air India's chief commercial and transformation officer, Nipun Aggarwal, confirmed.
Why does this story matter?
- Air India's 470 aircraft order is reportedly the largest ever placed by any airline in one go, even surpassing American Airlines' 2011 order of 460 aircraft.
- The order is aimed to modernize and expand the airline's fleet in order to create a larger and more premium full-service carrier, Airbus said.
- In addition, the purchase will support over one million American jobs in 44 states.
Nearly 700 commercial aircraft operational in India currently
As per reports, IndiGo, Air India, Vistara, Akasa Air, and Go First have at least 1,115 planes on firm order currently. There are nearly 700 commercial aircraft operational in India, most of which are single-aisle or narrow-body planes. Approximately 159 Boeing planes and about 470 aircraft of Airbus are in commercial service in the country.
India's annual domestic air-traffic to grow by 7% by 2024
India is one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets, with Boeing projecting that the country will require approximately 2,210 new planes over the next 20 years. It also predicted an annual increase in domestic air traffic of nearly 7% by 2041. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday also claimed the country's growing aviation division would require over 2,000 aircraft in the coming 15 years.
Air India CEO reveals option to take additional aircraft
Campbell Wilson, Air India's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), revealed that the airline has also secured numerous options and rights to purchase. "These give us the option, but not the obligation, to take additional aircraft at already-negotiated production slots and/or prices so that we can nimbly accommodate further growth and manage risk," Wilson was quoted as saying by PTI.
More details on Air India's order
In a post on LinkedIn, Air India's chief commercial and transformation officer Aggarwal wrote: "The order comprises 470 firm aircraft, 370 options and purchase rights to be procured from Airbus and Boeing over the next decade." "The Airbus firm order comprises 210 A-320/321 Neo/XLR and 40 A350-900/1000. The Boeing firm order comprises 190 737-Max, 20 787s and 10 777s," he added.
Air India will be a 'World Class Airline': Aggarwal
Furthermore, Aggarwal also wrote in his long post that the order demonstrates the aspiration and vision of the Tata Group to elevate Air India into a "World Class Airline" and link India to every major city in the world "non-stop." He also added that the order is evidence of the tremendous economic potential unleashed by the airline's privatization.
Total commercial Indian fleet of 700 aircraft is small: CAPA
While the exact number of planes delivered to the airlines couldn't be ascertained immediately, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) reported that the total commercial Indian fleet of approximately 700 aircraft is less than some of the largest individual airlines in the world. CAPA also said that given its immense potential, it stands to reason that more aircraft need to be inducted.
Recent controversies involving Indian carriers
The Indian aviation industry, particularly Air India, has recently made headlines due to a series of mid-flight mishaps. The most notable incident involved a drunk man named Shankar Mishra, who allegedly peed on a female co-passenger on Air India's New York-Delhi flight. This, along with a few other incidents, sparked a major uproar, prompting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to take action.