US President Joe Biden has hailed Air India’s decision to purchase 220 Boeing aircraft and hails it as a ‘historic agreement’. Releasing a statement of Joe Biden, the US said, “The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing. I am proud to announce today the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing.”
Aiming to upgrade its fleet and expand its operations, Tata-owned Air India on 14 February confirmed it will buy a total of 470 wide-body and narrow-body planes from Airbus and Boeing. On February 10th, reports stated that Air India signed agreements with Airbus SE and Boeing Co. for about 250 orders and commitments in total, made up of 210 of the A320 single-aisle family models and 40 A350s wide-bodies.
“The order comprises 40 Airbus A350s, 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777-9s wide-body aircraft, as well as 210 Airbus A320/321 Neos and 190 Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft. The A350 aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines, and the B777/787s by engines from GE Aerospace. All single-aisle aircraft will be powered by engines from CFM International,” Air India said in an official statement.
“This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree. This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership,” the statement added.
Apart from this, Biden in his statement expressed hope to deepen partnership even further by continuing to confront shared global challenges and create a more secure and prosperous future for people.
On AI-Boeing deal, PM Modi held telephone conversation with the President of the US Joe Biden on February 14th and expressed satisfaction at the deepening of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, which has resulted in robust growth in all domains.
Both the leaders welcomed the announcement of a landmark agreement between Air India and Boeing as a shining example of mutually beneficial cooperation that will help create new employment opportunities in both countries. PM Modi also invited Boeing and other US companies to make use of the opportunities arising due to the expanding civil aviation sector in India.
Air India said that the first of the new aircraft will enter service in late-2023, while the bulk are expected to arrive from mid-2025 onwards. Adding more, the AI said that it has already started taking delivery of 11 leased B777 and 25 A320 aircraft to accelerate its fleet and network expansion.
The first of the refitted aircraft – with an entirely new cabin, new seats and inflight entertainment system – will enter service in mid-2024, said AI.
With AI signing MoUs for 68 Trent XWB-97 engines, it has now become the biggest ever order for the Trent XWB-97, which exclusively powers the Airbus A350-1000. Also, AI’s order of 12 Trent XWB-84 engines – the sole engine option for the Airbus A350-900 – is also being considered a huge order. Though no financial details of the order have been disclosed. This is the first time that an Indian airline has ordered the Trent XWB and the deal will make Air India the largest operator of the Trent XWB-97 in the world.
“Today’s announcement marks an exciting and truly remarkable occasion for Tata Group and Air India; the size and magnitude of this order reflects the level of their ambition for the future. I congratulate them on taking this bold step towards becoming one of the world’s greatest airlines and I would like to thank them for putting their trust in Rolls-Royce to power them on this journey,” Rolls-Royce plc’s CEO Tufan Erginbilgic said while sharing his thoughts.
Reacting on the deal, Tata Sons and AI’s Chairman N Chandrasekaran noted Air India is on a large transformation journey. He said, “Air India is on a large transformation journey across safety, customer service, technology, engineering, network and human resources. Modern, efficient fleet is a fundamental component of this transformation.”
“This order is an important step in realising Air India’s ambition, articulated in its Vihaan.AI transformation program, to offer a world class proposition serving global travellers with an Indian heart,” he said.
“These new aircraft will modernize the Airline’s fleet and onboard product and dramatically expand its global network . The growth enabled by this order will also provide unparalled career opportunities for Indian aviation professionals and catalyze accelerated development of the Indian aviation ecosystem,” he added.