Order for 470 planes one of the largest single aircraft orders by any airline: Air India chief


Air India chief Campbell Wilson on Tuesday said the order for 470 planes is one of the largest single aircraft orders by any airline, anywhere, ever, and that the carrier has secured a number of options and purchase rights.

The firm element of the order comprises 40 Airbus A350s, 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777-9 wide-body aircraft, as well as 210 Airbus A320/321 Neos and 190 Boeing 737 MAX narrow-bodies.

The A350 aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines, and the B777/787s by engines from GE Aerospace, he said in a message to Air India staff.

All 400 narrow-body aircraft will be powered by engines from CFM International, he added.


“In the meantime, our capacity growth will continue to be supported by the previously announced lease-in of additional narrow-body and wide-body aircraft and the restoration-to-service of the remainder of our grounded fleet,” he said.

In addition to the 470 aircraft on firm order, Air India has secured a number of options and purchase rights.

“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,” he said.

Air India has signed letters of intent with Boeing, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GE Aerospace and CFM International for a fleet of brand-new aircraft.

“Besides this deal being of unprecedented size, it was also incredibly complex, with two airframers and six engine suppliers all jostling for position,” the Air India chief said.

He also said that there is much hard work ahead, not least to staff up for, and then fill, these new aircraft.

Meanwhile, in a release, Boeing said the agreement with Air India includes options for 50 additional 737 MAXs and 20 787-9s.

“When finalised, this will be the largest Boeing order in South Asia and a historic milestone in the aerospace companys nearly 90-year partnership with the carrier,” it said.

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