Just over ten days after Air India signed one of the biggest aircraft deals in aviation history, the buzz is yet to die down. With confirmed orders for 470 jets, including 70 widebodies, the carrier has clearly shown its intent to become a major force in international flying. This deal has been in the works for months now, with Boeing, Airbus, GE, and Rolls-Royce all involved to grab a piece of the $68 billion pie. Considering Air India’s last major order was in 2006, for a paltry 68 jets in comparison, this change was long overdue. The carrier had been flying under capacity to most of its domestic and international destination, hoping to only target the highest earning routes. This opened the door to foreign carriers taking a lion’s share of the market, led by the Middle Eastern giants, Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad, and European ones like British Airways, Lufthansa, and more. With this deal, Air India is aiming to in-house maintenance and bring down operational costs substantially. For passengers, the new aircraft will be a huge leap forward from the current interiors and will feature refurbished cabins with improved hard product. Building back the reputation of Air India is a mission from the ground up, so it will be years before we see it become a world-class airline again.
Today: December 11, 2023