It wasn’t just Airbus that benefitted from Air India’s announcement for aircraft orders. Boeing also secured a deal for 220 planes as well.
The deal comprises 190 737 MAX aircraft, 20 787s and 10 777X aircraft. The 777X is a series plagued by delays and struggled to attract orders away from its freighter variant.
The commitment to Boeing by Air India doesn’t stop there. The airline has also announced options for 50 737 MAXs and 20 787-9s should they wish to activate them. The deal still needs to be finalised. However, once it has been concluded, it will be quite a historic commitment for both parties. It is, as described by Boeing, the most significant order in South Asia and a landmark milestone in a 90-year partnership.
Both domestically and internationally, Air India will see benefits thanks to these new aircraft. The new aircraft, according to executives, will help Air India’s ambitious goal to better compete with Gulf carriers. Airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways have and continue to have a commanding position in the market.
The 787s and 777X will be front and centre for these plans, with the airline already flying the 787s. The Dreamliner has played an integral role in the airline’s long-haul performance over the past decade.
While the airline will acquire these new aircraft, it isn’t just new flashy planes that’ll be delivered. Air India will invest hundreds of millions into a brand new onboard experience for its passengers, which many see as overdue. This is another step into Tata group’s plans to position the airline once more as a leading airline in India and the global aviation industry.
However, even with all of this, it doesnt guarantee success, and internal changes will need to be made. Nevertheless, the general reaction is positive, and critics of the company believe these steps are valuable and will take the airline forward.
Air India is entering a new era. How that pans out remains to be seen.