Tata owned Air India plans to purchase thirty wide-bodied aircrafts, the engine maker for Airbus SE’s A350 jets said, a decision that could potentially put themselves as one of the frontrunners for international travel.
Chris Davie, a senior vice president in Asia Pacific for Rolls-Royce Holding who is an expert in the industry described the potential deal as ‘a really big order’ in an interview while at Telangana.
Such a massive order, of 30 A350-100 jets would be close to $10 billion USD, which were prices three years ago. But with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely the prices were cut down due to negligent demand. Also, with such large bulk orders, it is also very plausible that a discount would be included. So, all in all, Air India might be getting a good deal out of this. It is now approximated that the value of such a deal could be under $5 billion USD.
When Will The Deal Happen?
No specific date has been decided on for the deal, but Airbus officials did recently fly to various Indian cities to showcase their massive airplanes. Mr. Davie has also been trying to get a deal complete specifically for the Indian airline. The airline company, recently acquired by Tata, is looking to refurbish its fleet to compete against their competition who have been thriving these past few years, namely Indigo and SpiceJet.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Airbus, along with Boeing are now in communication with Air India officials on the purchase of the aircrafts. Their meetings involved the purchases of Airbus’s A350-900s and Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliners. Boeing currently rules the market for wide-bodies flights while Airbus, currently have no customers for theirs.
Davie who is currently based in Singapore paid a visit to India with the goal of meeting top officials in the Indian airline industry, to conduct multiple meetings with Air India and Tata Sons Pvt, the massive Indian conglomerate, which is valued at over $103 billion USD that bought the incurably unprofitable company from the government just a few months ago.
As aforementioned, Air India was running losses frequently when owned by the government; but once Tata gained ownership, they have not looked back and look to expand to important international routes and gain a spot at the top now that air travel is resuming back to level especially after the coronavirus pandemic.