Air India has finally reached a deal with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to buy 250 new aircraft, including 210 single-aisle jets and 40 long-haul dual-aisle planes, it was announced on Tuesday.
The agreement was confirmed by N Chandrasekaran, chairman of the Tata Group, which took back control of Air India last January, according to a Reuters report.
Air India could be on the hunt for as many as 500 new planes to replace and expand its existing fleet, which has been described in some quarters as dilapidated and in urgent need of renovation or replacement.
The remaining aircraft will likely come from Airbus’s North American rival Boeing, although no agreement has yet been signed.
Neither Airbus nor Air India has yet confirmed the deal.
“We on our part are going through a massive transformation because we are committed to building a world-class airline. One of the most important thing is a modern fleet which is efficient and can perform for all routes,” Chandrasekaran was cited as saying by Reuters.
Rumours that the deal was close to being struck have been swirling for weeks but this is the first time that confirmation has come from any of the parties involved in the negotiations.
Founded in 1932 by India’s massive Tata & Son conglomerate, Air India became a government-owned airline before Tata took back control of the airline after 69 years in January 2022.
Tata hopes to completely transform the carrier as part of an ambitious five-year plan that will see the company pump vast sums of money into the carrier to improve the customer experience, renew its worn-out fleet and widen its route network.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.