LONDON – As Bloomberg reports on Air India considering an order for 300 aircraft, what is the likelihood of this order going ahead?
The airline is considering a mix of Boeing & Airbus aircraft, which would be part of the TATA Group’s plans to elevate the national flag carrier in a new direction.
If this order does get announced, it would be one of the largest in commercial aviation history, so this is why we need to assess the likelihood of this happening.
Commercial Aircraft Outlook for Boeing & Airbus…
In Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook, the manufacturer is expecting around 2,410 deliveries to take place over the next 20 years.
Evidence that substantiates this view is through the Indian economy expecting to project growth at a rate of 5.1% every year through to 2040, as well as the Indian passenger market is expected to become the third-largest after the U.S & China.
There is also the expectation that fleet growth is going to be around 6.6%, meaning that there is considerable room for orders to be made by Air India.
In Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, they haven’t segmented this as much as Boeing has in their outlook.
Over the next 20 years, there will be demand for around 9,400 aircraft in the Asia/Pacific region. It is probably right to speculate that the individual figure is roughly the same as what Boeing is predicting.
Out of the 9,400 aircraft, around 6,770 aircraft are listed as small, with 1,730 for medium and 900 for large, so there is also room for Airbus orders from Air India on this front as well.
When Could This Get Announced?
It is unclear when this order will be announced, but an order of this volume would definitely be wise to announce at the Farnborough Air Show.
This goes for either manufacturer, especially as the PR front for order backlog and order acquisition will be something both sides will want to brag about, especially with Boeing as they are wanting to secure more orders for the MAX after a few years of turmoil with the program.
It also depends on whether Air India is ready to announce right now or not. Because the timeframe is so uncertain, it is yet another question mark.
But either way, it is also fair to speculate that Airbus will get a substantial number of units sold to the Indian carrier, especially with its presence at WINGS India earlier this year.
It remains clear that Air India is going to press ahead with some form of an order, which in turn creates quite a high likelihood of happening.
The main questions to be asked are around which aircraft they are going to order as well as when they are going to announce an order as well.
Our best guess at AviationSource would be that this will happen at the Farnborough Air Show, especially with it being less than four weeks away until the trade show begins.
But for now, this is an exciting development for Air India and this will no doubt be the beginning of elevating the carrier to the position that the TATA Group wants to take the carrier.