Reports: Air India to announce an order for up to 495 aircraft in the coming week

We have all heard for a while that the newly privatised Air India will be placing a pretty big aircraft order in the coming days. A number of 500 aircraft has been pegged over and over again in various media reports, including a statement by Steven Udvar-Hazy, the executive chairman of AirLease Corp, one of the most prominent names in aviation assets leasing, at a conference in Dublin earlier this week.

Previously, they had announced that they would add 30 jets in the short term, including five wide-body jets. Out of this, they have received their first two 777LRs already. They have announced that they will add another six widebody aircraft in the coming months. Apart from this, Air India also has committed significant monetary resources to fix the 777/787s they inherited as a part of the Air India privatisation deal.

Air India order coming next week.

The order could be across both OEMs, Airbus and Boeing, and could include about 400 narrow-body jets and 100 or so widebody aircraft. Also, as I’ve stated previously, I believe this is a group order, which means it will include an order for Air India Express as well rolled up into the master entity.

Now, Reuters is reporting a deeper breakup of how many jets could be ordered.

  • 425 Narrow Body jets could be coming: The deal could cover a total of 425 narrow-body aircraft, including 235 Airbus A320neo-family planes as well as 190 Boeing 737 MAX airliners. As was earlier reported, this will mostly include 50 or so white-tail 737 MAX aircraft, which were earlier not taken up by Chinese customers. China has since approved the 737 MAX, and a flight has been conducted with this aircraft within the week in China.
  • 70 Wide Body aircraft may be ordered: On the widebody front, it seems an order for 70 aircraft could be on the anvil. This could include 40 Airbus A350 aircraft, 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777X as well.

However, Bloomberg, on the other hand, states at the moment, the conversations are in a stalemate because Engine makers are not offering Air India the terms that they are looking for on the engine orders, as well as maintenance of these aircraft.

When concluded, and if concluded on the scale mentioned, the Air India order will be one of the biggest in contemporary history.


It seems Air India and the OEMs Boeing and Airbus are getting ready to announce a significant order of up to 500 aircraft in the coming week. The order will come on the first year anniversary of the return of Air India to the Tata conglomerate and could include about 425 narrow-body jets and 70 widebody aircraft.

What do you think Air India could do with this capacity in the coming days, and how much will be replacement and how much will be for growth?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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