Air India bulk order finalization draws closer

An Air India Boeing Dreamliner approaching to land.
Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON -A mass order deal by India’s Tata Group carrier Air India appears to be drawing closer to a conclusion today, with news outlet Reuters citing industry sources as saying at least half the deal will be concluded today.

The order, which has drawn speculation over recent weeks will reportedly see the Indian carrier acquire up to as many as 495 aircraft drawn from both key manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.

A fuller timeline of the development of negotiations between the stakeholders, which originated back in March 2022 can be found in our recent article.

At the time of the Wings India airshow in Hyderabad, back in March last year, Chris Davie, the Senior VP of Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific had remarked:

“I think they are looking at something up to 30 aircraft, could be as big as that, which is a big order. A really big order.”

Almost a year down the track, that initial remark now appears to be something of an understatement!

With the last reported update suggesting that Friday 27 January would see a likely announcement of a potential finalisation of this deal, it is perhaps interesting to note the Boeing presence in Mumbai.

This is perhaps evidenced by the arrival of Boeing BBJ N839BA earlier today.

Source: Radarbox

The past few months have seen tightly closeted negotiations take place, as Tata Group’s Air India negotiates a mix of narrowbody and widebody aircraft types from the two major manufacturers.

With Reuters reporting today that a conclusion to at least half the deal is imminent, coupled with the evidence that suggests Boeing executives are currently in Mumbai; perhaps we are close to at least a partial announcement of this major purchase.

UPDATE 0755 UTC

Sources are confirming that officials from engine manufacturers CFM and GE are also in attendance with Boeing executives in India. The recent update confirms the report at a part-finalization of the bulk purchase is likely to be brokered today.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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