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How Air India Deal Will Strengthen International Ties The purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing, will support over one million American jobs across 44 states. Similarly, Airbus and Rolls-Royce agreement for Air India, will support new jobs in Wales and Derbyshire

By Shrabona Ghosh

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The long awaited deal of Air India with Airbus and Boeing has finally been announced. Air India, part of the Tata Sons conglomerate, has signed letters of intent with the aircraft majors to acquire both widebody and single-aisle aircraft. The move will significantly boost India's ties with the US and UK.

The order comprises 40 Airbus A350s, 210 Airbus A320/321 Neos; 20 Boeing 787s, 10 Boeing 777-9s widebody aircraft and 190 Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft. The A350 aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines and the B777/787s by engines from GE Aerospace. All single-aisle aircraft will be powered by engines from CFM International.

The first of the new aircraft will enter service in late-2023, with the bulk to arrive from mid-2025 onwards. In the interim, Air India has already started taking delivery of 11 leased B777 and 25 A320 aircraft to accelerate its fleet and network expansion."The first aircraft to arrive will be 25 brand-new Boeing B737-800s and 6 Airbus A350-900s in the second half of 2023, with deliveries ramping up in 2025 and beyond," said Campbell Wilson, chief executive officer, Air India.

The purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing, will support over one million American jobs across 44 states. Over a call, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi discussed the importance of strategic technology partnership between India and the United States.

"This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership. Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges—creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens," said US President Joe Biden.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has welcomed the momentous deal for Airbus and Rolls-Royce to provide new aircraft for Air India, an agreement worth billions of pounds to the UK. The pact will support new jobs in Wales and Derbyshire, helping to boost exports and grow the UK's economy.

A significant portion of the manufacturing process for the new aircraft is expected to take place in the UK. The wings will be designed in Filton and assembled in Broughton – which is expected to bring an additional 450 manufacturing jobs and more than £100m of investment to Wales. The large A350 aircraft are exclusively powered by Rolls-Royce XWB engines, which are assembled and tested in Derby, highlighted a statement from the Prime Minister's office.

"This landmark deal between Air India, Airbus and Rolls-Royce demonstrates that the sky's the limit for the UK's thriving aerospace sector. It will create better-paid jobs and new opportunities in manufacturing hubs from Derby to Wales. The UK is already a top investment destination and by building trade ties with growing economic powers like India we will ensure UK businesses remain at the forefront of global growth and innovation," said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Currently India and the UK are negotiating a trade deal which could boost trade by up to £28 billion a year by 2035. "Export wins like this are another big step to our nations forming a closer trading relationship," said Kemi Badenoch MP, Business and Trade Secretary.

It's been a year since the Tata group announced the completion of the transaction for the purchase of Air India from the government of India. The airline has made some significant gains under the aegis of Tata group. From increasing total operating aircraft, average daily flights, weekly international flights to clearing backlogs, it has crossed a few milestones.

"This order is an important step in realising Air India's ambition, articulated in its Vihaan.AI transformation program, to offer a world class proposition serving global travellers with an Indian heart. These new aircraft will modernise the Airline's fleet and onboard product and dramatically expand its global network. The growth enabled by this order will also provide unparalleled career opportunities for Indian aviation professionals and catalyse accelerated development of the Indian aviation ecosystem," said N Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons and Air India.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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