LONDON – This week’s Air India order is actually a lot larger than you think if you take into account the firm orders and purchase rights.
As reported by The Times of India, the orders agreed upon by the Indian carrier with Airbus and Boeing amount to around 840 aircraft.
Without further ado, let’s dissect this order further:
Largest Aircraft Order in the World…
Even with the firm order for 470 aircraft, Air India broke records this week, the order being the largest in aviation history.
The 840 figure comes after adding on the purchase rights of an additional 370 aircraft, of which Air India’s Chief Commercial & Transformation Officer Nipun Aggarwal, expanded on to Indian media and on social media:
“The order comprises 470 firm aircraft, 370 options, and purchase rights to be procured from Airbus and Boeing over the next decade”.
“It is indeed a landmark moment in the history of Air India and Indian aviation. This order of 840 aircraft has been a culmination of a fascinating journey that began almost two years ago, starting with the Air India privatization process”.
A Quick Turnaround on Deliveries for Air India…
The aircraft ordered by Air India is going to have a quick turnaround in terms of deliveries.
It is understood that all 470 firm-ordered aircraft will be delivered by the end of this decade, which will help Air India’s overall strategy of becoming a global player once again.
Such an order will allow Air India to become more efficient in nature, as well as use the purchase rights as an opportunity for further fleet renewal later down the line.
It is probably to be expected that Air India will exercise a substantial portion of these purchase rights, meaning that deliveries will probably continue into the 2030s and beyond.
Air India Becomes Customers for New Projects…
This order from Air India means that they get added to the list of many new aircraft projects that are in the pipeline or are already in production.
Within its 210 Airbus A320 Family order, the Indian carrier will be receiving A321XLR aircraft, which will enable a more economical way of a long-haul flight to secondary markets.
The carrier also becomes another customer of the A350 program, which will enable long-distance flights, as will the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners it has on order, which will expand its relationship with the program following deliveries of the -8 variant over the years.
Continuing on the Boeing side, it also gave some much-needed PR to the 777X program, as Air India joins the very limited customer list of the type.
As delays on the program continue, these will probably be ironed out before delivery slots for these jets arrive.
Acting in the nature of Emirates in becoming a global player, you can look at this order in such a multi-faceted way that shows the impact of how Indian aviation will revolutionize itself once again.
Looking ahead, it’s going to be interesting to see what is going to come after this order and whether we could see some more blockbuster orders from Indian carriers again in this decade.
With Akasa Air making some noises in wanting to order more aircraft, the game is on for aircraft manufacturers to get more skin in the Indian game as they have with Air India.