The Tata group will buy 250 aircraft from Airbus in the world’s largest aviation deal in history.
The deal includes 40 A350 wide-body long-range aircraft and 210 narrow-body ones, believed to be variants of the A320Neo family of jetliners for Air India, owned by the Tata group.
“It is a historic moment for Airbus to help script Air India’s revival,” Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said in a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ratan Tata, French President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders.
The deal with Airbus, expected to be over $100 billion, is part of a huge order by Air India for 470 planes, which is also likely to include an order for 220 planes from Boeing.
“This contract is a milestone in the friendly relations between India and France,” said Macron at the conference, where Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran also participated.
PM Modi said India will become the third-largest player in the aviation sector. “India will need 2,500 aircraft in the next 15 years,” he added.
The A350 family has two versions – the A350-900, and the longer fuselage A350-1000.
Airbus says A350s fly efficiently on any sector from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to 17,000 km, carrying 300 to 410 passengers in typical three-class configurations, and up to 480 passengers in a single-class layout.
Airbus’ narrow-body aircraft include the A320 and A220 family of planes. Many airlines in India already fly the A320 family.
Air India is also likely to revamp its livery. Last month, it committed $400 million to refurbish the interiors of its entire wide-body fleet. Air India said these will incorporate the “latest generation seats and best-in-class inflight entertainment systems.”
- A350s fly on any sector from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to around 18,000 kilometres, carrying 300 to 410 passengers in typical three-class configurations, and up to 480 passengers in a single-class layout.
- The Airbus A350 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner. It has two variants — the A350-900 typically carries 300 to 350 passengers over a 15,000-kilometre range; the longer A350-1000 accommodates 350 to 410 passengers.
- The A350 is the first Airbus aircraft largely made of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers.
- The first commercial flight of the original variant, the A350-900, was made on January 15, 2015, between Doha and Frankfurt. The first A350-1000 was assembled in 2016 and had its first flight on November 24, 2016.
- As of November 2022, the global A350 fleet had 3.36 years average aircraft age, had completed more than 934,000 flights on more than 955 routes, and had carried more than 241 million passengers since its entry into service; the fleet had 99.4 percent operational reliability in the last 3 months.