Air India gives wings to expansion plans: Tata Group airline to buy 150 aircraft from Boeing

With many new airlines entering the Indian market and old ones resurfacing, Air India is prepared to take them on with its updated fleet.

The Tata Group is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with Boeing Co. to purchase up to 150 737 Max aircraft, according to Economic Times. If successful, this will be the first major purchase made by the airline after going under new ownership by camp Tata.

This is the largest order that an American aircraft manufacturer has received since its sale of 75 aircraft to Akasa Air in 2021. Air India is likely to take delivery of 50 737 MAX aircraft initially, but they have the option to pick up as many as 150 additional ones.

Air India chose the American aircraft company for the order as it committed to delivering 50 planes by March 2023. The airplanes were originally destined for China Southern, which had placed an order and was scheduled to take immediate delivery of 103 airplanes, according to the report. The Air India-Boeing deal is anticipated to be wrapped up in a few days.

The report added that although Airbus may still get to fulfill orders from Air India, Boeing had an edge over the competitor. This is because the American manufacturer promised to deliver 50 737 Max planes as soon as early next year, while the French company could not promise deliveries of A320 Neo until 2025.

In addition, the report noted that Boeing was unable to finalize the Chinese order as China’s air safety and aviation regulator has not yet recertified the plane following two crashes in 2019 which led to its grounding.

With Cambell Wilson at the helm as new CEO, Air India has released grandiose expansion plans to earn a 30% market share of both domestic and international routes in the next five years.

Futurebrands, a British branding, and design consultancy firm, was recently brought on board by the airline to rework its branding strategy.

Futurebrands has been tapped by Air India to help the 76-year-old company redesign its image to be more appealing to a global audience. This may include creating a new mascot, as the current ‘Maharajah’ is seen by some as outdated.

The airline has also hired former MakeMyTrip executive Sunil Suresh as its chief marketing officer, and Colin Neubronner, who was behind the branding of Singapore Airlines and Jet Airways, to its new brand-building team.

Tata Sons plans to merge Vistara with Air India to create a full-service airline by 2024. The company is currently in the process of merging AirAsia India and Air India Express as well, which will result in a low-cost airline.

Air India is determined to become the biggest and best airline in the country with its new plans, and it seems that it is on the right path to make this a reality. With the current order from Boeing and its upgraded branding, there is no doubt that Air India will be flying to greater heights soon.

The future of Indian aviation is looking brighter with Air India at the wheel!

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