Mega Maharaja, record order: Tatas set to order 500 aircraft

NEW DELHI: In one of the largest aircraft orders ever, Air India is set to order nearly 500 aircraft. These include 400 single-aisle aircraft — 210 new-family Airbus A320s and 190 Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
Then there were 70 twin-aisle aircraft — 40 A350s, 20 B787s, and 10 B777Xs.
At list prices, the ordered planes – 250 Airbus and 220 Boeing – will be worth $150 billion and will be delivered over the next eight years.
At the same time, the tata corporation signed agreements for manufacturers of original engine equipment for these aircraft. In addition to these firm orders, AI will have many aircraft as options, and Air India, Airbus and Boeing would not comment on this.
Tatas is in the process of merging the former AirAsia India into Air India Express to create a major low-cost carrier (LCC) and merging Vistara into AI to create a large full-service carrier (FSC).
The Boeing 737 Max will move to the large LCC being created and will be under the umbrella of AI. The remaining aircraft will be transferred to FSC AI, with single aisles operating on neighboring domestic and international routes.
The widebody will be used for medium non-stop (Europe and east), long haul (north coast of North America) and super long haul (west coast).
Integrated AI aims to win 30% market share on both domestic and international fronts.
This large order is a boost for Boeing, which until recently did not have any financially unstable airline customers in India until the end of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-funded Akasa which took off last year. It did not deliver even a single B737 Max to the cash-strapped SpiceJet post-Covid while the airline had ordered a large number. The US specialist’s final success was with Jet Airways, which retired in April 2019. AI’s current fleet of wide-body aircraft is entirely Boeing – a combination of 747s (now phased out gradually. ); B787 Dreamliner and B777.
Airbus, on the other hand, has IndiGo as the world’s largest customer of the best-selling A320neo family of aircraft. Its other customers include GoAir with both of these low-cost carriers having setbacks for the A320neos on order.
Air India (formerly Indian Airlines), Vistara and formerly AirAsia India use the A320. Jet previously operated wide-body Airbus (A330).
Due to global supply chain constraints caused by Covid and exacerbated by Russia’s war with Ukraine, as of December 31, 2022, Airbus and Boeing had 12,669 unfilled orders. It is very difficult to get delivery time for at least the next few years, given the narrow CAPA-India and recently said the situation will be tense until 2029. So timely ordering of aircraft is the key thing. needed for AI to get delivery slots in the coming years so it can also phase out its older planes. The aircraft currently on order will be a combination of sale and leaseback and ownership.
The biggest pain point for AI passengers is the deterioration of AI products on the plane – damaged seats, armrests, tray tables; the in-flight entertainment screen does not work; dirty seat fabric, carpets and overall shabby interior – as the last few years of state-owned Maharaja no investment has been made in these items. Global supply chain constraints caused by Covid and then exacerbated by Russia’s war with Ukraine have delayed Air India’s ambitious plans to upgrade existing products.
In the one year since Tatas took over and started funding, the number of aircraft in operation over the past year has increased by 27% and is now 100.
“Daily flights have increased by 30% and weekly international flights have increased by 63%. Sixteen new international routes have been started or announced (coming soon) and frequencies on nine existing routes have been increased. Average daily passenger volume increased 72% and daily revenue doubled. The average daily frequency has increased by 81%,” said Air India CEO Campbell Wilson recently.


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