Air India’s historic bulk order shows the country’s potential in the aviation industry, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told CNN-News18 in an exclusive chat, saying the order had global significance.
The Tata Group-owned Air India has placed two mega orders adding up to a staggering 470 aircraft — 250 planes with Europe’s Airbus consortium and 220 with Boeing Co. of the United States. This is the largest order placed by an airline in one go anywhere in the world, beating the 2011 order by American Airlines for a combined 460 aircraft. The biggest order by an Indian carrier before this was IndiGo’s 300-aircraft order in 2019.
Air India has signed a letter of intent to buy 250 aircraft from Airbus. These include 140 A320neo, 70 A321neo single-aisle planes, 34 A350-1000, and six A350-900 wide-bodies. It is also buying 220 aircraft from Boeing. These include 190 B737 MAX, 20 Boeing 787s, 10 Boeing 777Xs. Air India also has options for an additional fifty 737 MAXs and twenty 787s.
As far as delivery is concerned, in an internal communication, Air India has said six A350-900s will be part of the first delivery at the end of 2023. Following that, 34 A350-1000s will be delivered a couple of years later.
The minister said the order would provide a new fillip to the aviation sector and termed it as the next chapter for the sector.
“Our Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is already around 14-14.5 per cent and we are optimistic that it will continue for the next decade,” Scindia said. He added that India is the third-largest aviation market with a capacity of around 200 million already.