LONDON – One question is being posed over the course of this saga: When will the blockbuster Air India order be announced? Here’s what you need to know.
The answer right now, as per Bloomberg: It’s a done deal, and the announcement is due to take place next week.
It is understood from the media outlet that the deal is done, according to their sources. However, this has been said before.
The Order Breakdown…
It is understood that the order breakdown is as follows:
|Aircraft Type||Airbus Orders||Boeing Orders|
|Airbus A320neo Family||235||0|
|Boeing 737 MAX Family||0||190|
|Airbus A350 Family||40||0|
|Boeing 787 Family||0||20|
|Boeing 777X Family||0||10|
|Total From Each Manufacturer||275||230|
Within this, Airbus does appear to have acquired more of the market share in this particular order by around 45 aircraft, but Boeing will also be happy with the volume ordered on their side.
Providing the information is accurate on Friday; would mean that Air India will become a new customer for the Boeing 777X.
The same also applies to the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 737 MAX.
A Look Back At The Long Air India Order Rumor Mill…
The rumor mill for Air India was beginning to take hold properly back in March 2022, when it was rumored that the airline would be adding 30 new Airbus A350s to its fleet.
This came from Chris Davie, the Senior VP of Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific at the Wings India airshow in Hyderabad:
“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.”
By June, things began developing further, with rumors suggesting that Air India was considering an order of up to 300 aircraft, which came near the time of the Farnborough Air Show in July.
No orders came about at the Farnborough Air Show.
Still, again the rumor mill was intensified when the Indian aviation minister, Jyotriaditya Scindia, stated in August that he expects India’s airline fleet size to double within the next five years.
By September, Air India announced its new transformation plan, dubbed “Vihaan.AI”, which looked mainly at the airline’s fleet expansion plans.
On top of that, the need for more aircraft within India was further expressed through the DGCA announcing that 80 airports will be built in the country over the next 4-5 years.
Then, just last month, details emerged that Air India was close to signing a major deal with Boeing for 737 MAX aircraft, originally to be 50 firm, with options for 100 more.
This was then followed by a state visit from Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where more speculation arose as a result of this.
All Eyes Now on Air India…
All eyes are now on Air India to see the confirmation of its blockbuster order with the two aerospace giants of Airbus and Boeing.
Based on the reporting from Reuters, it can be expected that around 495 aircraft will be sold at this announcement, although this could change as deals get finalized next week.
But for now, this represents an exciting chapter for Air India, especially as it aims to grow once again and take on the competition, both at home and abroad.