Bengaluru/New Delhi: The Tata Sons’ Air India has announced two mega deals with France’s Airbus and United States’ Boeing to buy 470 commercial jetliners, on Tuesday. This is the biggest-ever procurement by any commercial airline in aviation history.
This comes during a time when the 14th edition of Asia’s biggest air show and aviation exhibition, Aero India – 2023, is going on in Bengaluru.
The first announcement came of the deal between the Tata Sons and Airbus for 250 aeroplanes.
Air India and Airbus deal
The Tata Sons chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, announced the deal between Air India and Airbus in a meeting that was virtually attended by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, among other dignitaries.
Chandrasekaran said as a part of the acquisition, Air India will purchase 40 widebody A350 and 210 narrowbody aircraft, believed to be variants of the A320neo family, with options to increase the procurement order.
The deal is expected to be worth over $100 billion.
“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 things is a modern fleet which is efficient and can perform for all routes,” the Tata Sons chief said.
Modi congratulated the Tata Sons and Airbus for striking the mega deal. He says the deal shows the deepening of ties between India and France. He also said the deal reflected the growing aspirations of the Indian civil aviation industry. The prime minister said, “Our civil aviation sector is an integral part of India’s development. Strengthening the civil aviation sector is an important aspect of our national infrastructure policy.”
Modi said in the next 15 years, India will require 2,000 commercial aircraft as it is poised to become the world’s third-largest market in the aviation sector.
Speaking on the occasion, Macron said France was fully committed to providing the best technology his country has to India. He said, “The Air India-Airbus deal shows that Airbus and its partners, including (engine maker) Safran, are keen on doing more business with India.”
Calling the deal as a “milestone” in the ties between New Delhi and Paris, the French leader said his country’s companies are working actively to help India in energy transition and carbon neutrality.
Guillaume Faury, Airbus’s chief executive officer, termed the deal as a “historic moment” for India, Air India, and Airbus. He said the scale of the order reflected the appetite for growth in the Indian aviation industry.
Air India and Boeing deal
Within hours of Tata Sons striking a deal for 250 commercial jetliners for its Air India fleet with France’s Airbus, the White House announced that Air India will purchase 220 aeroplanes from Airbus’s American rival Boeing. According to news agencies quoting a White House official, Air India will also have the option to procure an additional 70 aircraft from Boeing, potentially making the eventual purchase to 290 aircraft.
The US president, Joe Biden, Hailed the mega deal and termed it as a “historic agreement” and said the deal will support over one million American jobs across 44 states in the US.
In a statement, Biden said: “Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges – creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens.”
According to reports, the original deal has been struck for $34 billion. The order of the aircraft includes 190 Boeing 737 MAXs, 20 Boeing 787s, and 10 Boeing 777Xs. For the additional 70 aircraft, Air India has the option to purchase 50 Boeing 737 MAXs and 20 Boeing 787s. This makes the total deal value to be $45.9 billion.