Air India is clearly reorganizing under the “skilled stewardship” of the Tata Group and looking to invest in new aircraft to regain international passenger market share, Airbus’ chief commercial officer said here on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting held here, Christian Scherer was asked if Air India had completed the order for the A350 aircraft from Airbus.
“I will not comment on that,” the chief commercial officer of the European Aerospace company said in a response.
His comments came after it was reported last week that Air., which is owned by the Tata Group,
India has decided to purchase its first batch of wide-body A350 aircraft from Airbus and the first aircraft is expected to be delivered to the airline in March 2023.
However, it was not immediately clear how many A350 aircraft will be purchased by Air India.
“Air India is clearly in the process of reorganizing itself under the very capable stewardship of the Tatas and as such it is only natural that they would consider investing in new fleets, new aircraft, if only to regain more sovereignty and market share for a Indian airline. in the international market,” Scherer said.
Air India has not purchased a single aircraft since 2006, when it placed orders for 111 aircraft – 68 from US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing and 43 from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
A wide-body aircraft like the Airbus A350 has a larger fuel tank that allows it to travel longer distances, such as routes between India and the US.
The Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27 after winning the bid for the airline on October 8 last year.
Sources told PTI on June 15 that Air India had started asking its senior pilots if they would be interested in getting the “conversion training” to fly A350 aircraft.
Air India pilots have been trained to operate Boeing’s wide aircraft. Therefore, they must undergo “conversion training” to fly Airbus’ A350 aircraft.
According to Air India’s website, the airline has a total of 49 wide-angle aircraft – 18 Boeing B777, 4 Boeing B747 and 27 Boeing B787 – in its fleet. The airline also has 79 narrow-body aircraft in its fleet.
Sources had said Air India was buying A350 aircraft and would likely get its first A350 aircraft in March 2023.
Since April, the airline’s chairman N Chandrasekaran – who is also the chairman of the Tata Group – has given the airline’s top management a new lease of life by recruiting senior and mid-level executives who have worked in other Tata Group companies such as Tata Steel and Vistara.
(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)