New Delhi: Tata group-owned Air India’s order for a record 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing Co will be at a list price of $70 billion, Chief Executive Campbell Wilson said on Monday, as the airline seeks opportunities to expand in long haul international.
Air India had, earlier this month, announced provisional deals for 220 planes from Boeing and 250 from Airbus in an order that would eclipse previous records for an order by a single carrier.
The airline plans to fund the order with a combination of resources, including internal cash flow, shareholder equity and sale-and-leaseback of aircraft, Wilson told reporters at a press conference.
“We have committed to a historic order of new aircraft that will start entering the fleet from the end of this year through the end of the decade, to both transform the fleet and power significant network and capacity expansion,” Wilson said.
Air India, once considered a world-class airline in India, saw its image tarnish in the mid-2000s due to financial troubles, an ageing fleet and poor service.
The airline’s renaissance under the Tata conglomerate, which took control of the previously government-owned carrier last year, aims to capitalise on India’s growing base of fliers and large diaspora across the world.
Air India is inducting 500 cabin crew each month. It said last week that it will hire over 4,200 cabin crew and 900 pilots.
“Air India has embarked on probably the greatest transformation in aviation history,” Wilson added. Reuters
(Reporting by Aditi Shah, writing by Tanvi Mehta; Editing by Savio D’Souza)
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