Air India Adjusts Airbus Aircraft Orders

Daniel Fowkes
07 Dec 2023
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Air India Airbus A350 wearing their new updated livery

Air India has adjusted its order for Airbus aircraft such as the A350 and A321neo as it gears up to enter the next era of its operations.

The Initial 470 Aircraft Order

Air India made headlines this year following an order of 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing. Such a deal made history at the time.

A deal by the carrier consisted of notable narrowbody and widebody aircraft from a host of the most in-demand aircraft.

Air India and, notably, Tata Group committed to the aircraft with a view of changing the company’s fortunes. The order from Airbus included 140 A320neo aircraft, 80 A321neos, 34 A350-1000s and six A350-900s.

Meanwhile, a commitment to Boeing was also present, with Air India announcing deals for 190 737 MAXs, 20 787 Dreamliners, and ten 777Xs. However, Air India noted more than 50 options for 737 MAXs and 787s were available should they need them.

Air India Makes Airbus Order Changes

As Air India readies for delivery of its first A350-900, changes have been made to its Airbus contract.

Air India will now acquire 140 A321neo planes, which is double what was initially agreed upon and will see the subsequent downsizing of the A320neo commitment. As part of the refined contract, 70 A320neos will be ordered. Essentially, the airline has swapped the A320neo and A321neo order amounts.

Meanwhile, the company will also see changes to its Airbus A350 contract to better realign with future demand across its network. As part of the changes, Air India will now split its A350 order 50:50.

As a result, a commitment to the A350-900 will increase from six to 20. Additionally, a deal for the A350-1000 will decrease from 34 to 20.

Air India’s big order for 470 aircraft was always likely to be adjusted with time as the airline studied the best options available.

Potential A321neo Options Available

Air India’s commitment to the Airbus A321neo series remains a topic of hot interest. Discussion specifically surrounds which variants the airline will take as part of this deal.

Airbus offers customers many options, such as its standard variant, the A321LR or the upcoming A321XLR.

Each of these variants offers customers something different. The range of the LR and XLR could allow them to serve new markets or existing ones with more efficient planes.

For now, a lack of clarity remains around the makeup of the A321neo contract. However, the likelihood is that Air India will study what is most suitable for them.

Looking Ahead For India

The next decade for Air India is shaping up to be hugely important as Tata Group looks to turn around the company’s fortunes.

Air India’s recent history has seen it experience substantial lows. However, with a significant cash injection, the hope is this can be turned around.

Investments in the fleet have been made, alongside upcoming changes in airports, loyalty programs and much more. These investments will set back Tata Group a lot in terms of funds. However, realigning the carrier as a more global carrier should harbour positives.

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