After much speculation, Air India has officially announced its deal with Airbus for 250 aircraft. This is part of one of the biggest deals seen in aviation history.
Inside the deal, there are 40 Airbus A350s and 210 Airbus A320neos. The A350s are the type that many had long predicted the airline would look to acquire. These rumours go back to the 2022 Farnborough Airshow. At this point, there was discussion that the order could’ve been announced then, with many citing that they’d look to pounce on the ongoing dispute between Qatar Airways and Airbus for aircraft, opening up delivery slots.
Thanks to this agreement with Airbus, Air India hopes explicitly to utilise most of the planes for ultra-long-haul flights around the globe. Ultimately the order, while described as historical, is also hugely influential in the revival of Air India.
Over one year ago, Tata group took over the reins at the carrier, an airline that has, in the past decade, fallen away in terms of public perception. However, there is hope for the airline to push ahead under new ownership. Huge investments seem to be how the new owners believe will change the public’s perception and fortunes.
India’s growth in the industry is staggering, with the expectation of a total of 2,500 aircraft in the next 15 years. This means that all Indian airlines will continue to grow.
While Air India acquires new planes, there’ll be more work than flashy new equipment to truly bring it back to being the number one airline in the country. A title it hasn’t had for some time.
There’s been some discussion, while not seemingly confirmed, that the airline may also look to revamp its livery. A decision that’d see updated branding representing the change in culture, identity and aspirations moving forward.