Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran confirmed the signing of a letter of intent for 250 Airbus aircraft to Air India on Tuesday.
The massive order will include 210 A320neo family aircraft and 40 A350 widebodies. There will be 140 A320neo, 70 A321neo, 34 A350-1000 and six A350-900 models.
The first aircraft to be delivered will be an A350-900 at the end of 2023. Regarding the long queue for the A320neo family aircraft, it is still unclear when Air India will be able to count on these jets.
The announcement comes after months of speculation on a modernization plan that will also include 220 Boeing aircraft – 190 737 MAX, 20 787 Dreamliner and 10 777X.
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The online press conference was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. Chandrasekaran revealed that Air India may extend the order if needed in the future.
Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, celebrated the agreement noting that the new Air India planes will allow the airline to establish a global hub in the country.
The airline, the most traditional in India, was controlled by the state until the beginning of 2022, when it was taken over by the Tata group.
The plan of Tata and its partner, Singapore Airlines, is to merge Air India with the newcomer Vistara and thus dispute the market with the low-cost SpiceJet and IndiGo and with the carriers Emirates, Qatar and Etihad on long-haul flights.