Air India (AI/AIC) has committed to a total of 250 aircraft from European airframer Airbus in a widely anticipated order.
The TATA Group-owned airline will use the order to boost its domestic and international operations with a mixture of single-aisle and wide-body jets making up the order.
A total of 210 single-aisle airliners were ordered, 70 of which are the longer A321neo while the rest are A320neo.
On the wide-body side, the airline has committed to 34 A350-1000 and 6 A350-900.
“Airbus has been a longstanding partner of Air India, and these new aircraft will play an important part in delivering Vihaan.AI, Air India’s comprehensive transformation and growth strategy,” said Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD, Air India. “A core element of this transformation is the significant expansion of our network, both domestically and internationally, coupled with the elevation of our on-ground and onboard product to world-class standards. This order marks the start of a new chapter for both Airbus and Air India.”
The order comes as India is expected to become the fastest-growing G20 nation and its aviation market is expected to boom along with that with an emerging middle-class market.
“This is a historic moment for Airbus and for Air India. India is on the verge of an international air travel revolution and we are honoured that our partnership with the Tatas and our aircraft solutions will write that new chapter for the country’s air connectivity,” says Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “The A350’s unique capability will unlock the pent-up potential of India’s long-haul market, its technology, long reach and second-to-none comfort will enable new routes and passenger experience with better economics and enhanced sustainability. Alongside the A350s, the A320 Family fleets will be the efficient, versatile asset to continue democratising and decarbonising air travel in the country – from domestic, regional, up to international levels.”
Airbus says that the A350 is the world’s most modern and efficient wide-body aircraft in the 300-410 seater category. The A350’s clean sheet design includes state-of-the-art technologies and aerodynamics delivering unmatched standards of efficiency and comfort.
Its new-generation engines and use of lightweight materials bring a 25 per cent advantage in fuel burn, operating costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, compared to previous-generation competitor aircraft.
The aircraft offers a 3-class configuration cabin that is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crew the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable long-range flying experience.
The A321neo is the longest-fuselage member of Airbus’ best-selling, single-aisle A320 Family, comfortably seating 180 to 220 passengers in a typical two-class layout, and as many as 244 in a higher-density arrangement.
The A320neo has already set the standards as the world’s most comfortable short-to-medium-haul aircraft that typically accommodates from 140 to 170 passengers, with a maximum capacity of up to 180 travellers. Its environmental performance allows for at least 20 per cent less fuel burn and CO2 emissions as well as 50 per cent noise reduction, compared to previous generation aircraft.