Air India will acquire 250 aircrafts from Airbus, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran said on Tuesday (14 February).
The Tata Group-owned airline will buy 40 wide-body A350 planes and 210 A320 narrow-body neo aircrafts from the European manufacturer.
Speaking at an Airbus event being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, among others, Chandrasekaran said a letter of intent has been signed with Airbus for the acquisition of the aircraft.
The purchase of new aircraft will be the first one in last 18 years. Since 2005, the airline has not purchased any aircraft and the last order was for 111 aircraft whose deal was worth USD 10.8 billion.
Today’s deal marks a significant development in Air India’s fleet expansion plans - the full service carrier aims to increase its market share to 30 per cent on both domestic and international routes from India over the next five years.
The A350 family has two versions - the A350-900, and the longer fuselage A350-1000. Airbus says A350s fly efficiently on any sector from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to 17,000 km, carrying 300 to 410 passengers in typical three-class configurations, and up to 480 passengers in a single-class layout.
Airbus' narrow-body aircraft include the A320 and A220 family of planes. Many airlines in India already fly the A320 family.
The new narrow-body planes will enable the airline to fly to short-haul destinations within a four to five hour range.
The wide-body aircraft will be used for ultra-long flights and help the airline increase its footprint across North America, Europe and Australia.
The Tata Group took over management and control of Air India on 27 January 2022, after successfully winning the bid for the airline in October 2021.
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