Explanation: Air India’s deal with Boeing, Airbus for Mega 470 jets

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The story so far: Making history with the largest ever aircraft order in the history of global aviation, Tata Group-owned Air India on Tuesday announced It contracts with aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing to acquire the Jumbo 470 jet. The estimated cost of which is Rs 6.4 lakh crore.

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The order includes 400 single-aisle aircraft (primarily used for domestic travel), 140 A320neos, 70 A321neos and 190 Boeing 737 MAXs, and 70 wide-body aircraft (primarily used for international travel). These include 34 A350-1000s, Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 10 Boeing 777-9s and six A350-900s. Air India Chief Commercial and Transformation Officer Nipan Agarwal said on Thursday that the deal includes an option for 370 additional jets, which means The total number of jets ordered is 840..

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Currently, Air India operates a mixed fleet of over 140 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including B777-200LR, B777-300ER, B787-800 Dreamliner, A319, A320, A320neo and A321 jets. The airline last ordered aircraft 17 years ago in 2006, when it signed a contract for 68 Boeing and 43 Airbus planes.

Reflecting the airline’s transformation roadmap ‘Vihaan.AI’ which seeks to improve the aging fleet, the Air India deal is a key step towards re-establishing the airline as a world-class global carrier. There is a step.

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We take a look at the features of the aircraft joining the Air India fleet.


Airbus A350 (40)

The Airbus A350 is a wide-body, twin-aisle airliner with two variants, the A350-900 and the A350-1000. While 300-410 passengers can be seated in a three-class configuration, a maximum of 480 can be seated in a single-class layout.

The jetliner can fly non-stop on short-haul and ultra-long-haul routes of up to 18,000 km. While the A350-900 can fly more than 15,000 km, the longer A350-1000 has a range of more than 16,000 km.

The airframe is made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and about 70 percent of advanced materials such as composites, titanium, and advanced aluminum alloys.

The aircraft is powered by two Trent XWB engines, developed by Airbus in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. “Its new-generation engines and use of lightweight materials deliver a 25 percent improvement in fuel burn, operating costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to previous-generation rival aircraft,” Airbus said in a fact sheet. What is claimed in the letter?

The A350 has wide seats, high ceilings, access to entertainment, Wi-Fi and mobile phone connectivity. The aircraft offers three class configuration cabins. “The A350’s cabin is also the quietest in a twin-aisle aircraft, and its advanced technology allows for cabin altitude (6,000 ft.), optimal temperature and humidity, with air renewal every two to three minutes. with the highest possible air quality, reads the Airbus website.


Maximum Number of Seats: 480

Range: 16,112 km

Length: 73.79 m

Wingspan: 64.75 m

Engine: Trent XWB

A320neo and A321neo (210)

The A320neo and A321neo are members of Airbus’ single-aisle A320 family.

Preferred as a short- to medium-haul aircraft, the A320neo has a range of 6,300 km. Its features include a spacious cabin, wide seats, and spacious overhead storage compartments. The A320neo can accommodate 140 to 170 passengers, with a maximum capacity of 180.

The aircraft is also equipped with a digital cabin management system. According to Airbus, the A320neo’s environmental performance allows for at least 20% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions compared to the previous generation aircraft, as well as a 50% reduction in noise.

The A321neo is the longest-lived member of the A320 family.

It can seat between 180 and 220 passengers in a two-class layout, and even more — up to 244 — in an overcrowded configuration. Airbus increased the seating capacity of the A321neo with increased use of cabin space, increased exit width and new cabin door layouts. The longer A321neo has a range of 7,400 km. Like the A320neo, the jetliner offers a wide aisle, overhead storage space and seats at least 18 inches wide.


Maximum Number of Seats: 244

Range: 7,400 km

Length: 44.51 m

Wingspan: 35.80 m

Engine: LEAP-1A and PurePower PW1100G-JM Geared Turbofan


Boeing 787 (20)

There are three variants of the 787 Dreamliner family of wide-body aircraft – the B787-8 Dreamliner, the B787-9 Dreamliner and the B787-10 Dreamliner. It is powered by GEnx-1B/Trent 1000 twin engines. The 787 Dreamliner aircraft are 57 to 68 meters long and can carry 248 to 336 passengers. The smallest Dreamliner has a range of up to 13,530 km while the longest can go up to 11,730 km – perfect for flying long distances.

B787-9 Dreamliner

Maximum Number of Seats: 296

Range: 14,010 km

Length: 63m

Wingspan: 60m

Engine: GEnx-1B/Trent 1000

B777-9 (10)

A long-range twin-aisle aircraft, the B777-9 is a twin-engine jet that claims to deliver 10% lower fuel consumption and emissions and 10% lower operating costs. The 76.72 meter long aircraft can seat 426 people and has a range of 13,500 km. Its wingspan is up to 71.75 meters. The jetliner features wings with folding wingtips, a spacious cabin and more seating than a Boeing 787.

The 777-9 will be the largest jet in Air India’s fleet, enabling the airline to fly passengers non-stop to long-haul destinations.


Maximum Number of Seats: 426

Range: 13,500 km

Length: 76.72 m

Wingspan: 71.75 m

Engine: GE9X by GE Aviation

B737 Max (190)

Known as Boeing’s best-selling workhorse aircraft, the B737 Max is a single-aisle medium-haul aircraft that can seat 230 passengers and has a range of up to 6,500 km. It is a competitor to the A320neo family.

There are four variants of this series — B737 Max 7, B737 Max 8, B737 Max 9 and B737 Max 10. It offers a feature called the Boeing Sky Interior, which includes sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LEDs, and pivoting overhead storage bins. According to Boeing, the B737 MAX reduces fuel consumption and emissions by 20% while producing a 50% smaller noise footprint than its competition.

India was among the many countries that grounded the jetliner after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash in 2019 that killed all 157 people on board. The crash occurred barely months after a similar Lion Air crash in Indonesia involving the same aircraft model. The ban was lifted in 2021 by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Air India has a current fleet of 27 B787-8s. The larger 787-9 is expected to deliver more capacity, longer range and 25% better fuel efficiency than previous-generation jets.

B737 Max 9

Maximum Number of Seats: 220

Range: 6,570 km

Length: 42.16 m

Wingspan: 35.9 m

Engine: LEAP-1B from CFM International

When will the jets come to India?

Air India has said the first batch of the new aircraft is likely to enter service by the end of the year, with deliveries ramping up from mid-2025. In a statement, Airbus said deliveries of its aircraft would begin by the end of 2023 with the first A350-900. “The first aircraft to arrive will be 25 brand new Boeing B737-800s and 6 A350-900s in the second half of 2023,” Air India CEO Campbell Wilson said.

Meanwhile, Air India has taken delivery of 11 leased B777 and 25 A320 aircraft.

What does this deal mean for Air India?

Once known for its quality service and hospitality, Air India’s reputation suffered due to financial troubles in the mid-2000s. Carrier returned to Tata in 2022 as a state-owned enterprise after nearly seven decades. With massive contracts with Boeing and Airbus, Air India will look to restore its reputation and dominate the skies.

Air India CEO Campbell said, “This is not only the largest order ever by an Indian airline, it is also the largest single aircraft order ever by any airline, anywhere. is one of the ship’s orders, and testifies to India’s unique combination of exceptional scale and growth opportunities.” Wilson said in an internal email to airline employees.

Tata Sons and Air India chairman N. Chandrasekaran added that the order is an important step in fulfilling Air India’s ambitions. The airline is on a journey of major transformation in safety, customer service, technology, engineering, network and human resources, he said, adding that the new aircraft will modernize the airline’s fleet and onboard products and enhance its It will expand the global network.

On the subject of Air India’s massive order of over 200 A320s, an aviation expert said the induction of Airbus aircraft would enable the airline to achieve 35% lower operating costs and around 28% lower carbon emissions with improved efficiency and reliability. Help will come.

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