|Introduction: Contextual introduction.|
Body: Explain some implications of Air India’s huge order for aircraft.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.
Recently Tata Group-owned Air India from India has signed a deal with Boeing of the US and Airbus of France to procure 470 jets. This makes it the largest-ever pipeline of new aircraft ordered by an Indian airline. The aircraft are split between narrow body and wide body machines. While the narrow body planes will service domestic routes the Airbus wide body aircrafts are to largely serve the ultra-long haul segments, that is, flights of 10 hours or more.
- This will enable Air India to engage in a complete fleet renewal coupled with significant expansion.
- This deal is also important for the deep ties between India, France and US and will consequently improve cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
- Geopolitical dynamics can also be leveraged to provide a competitive edge. Challenges and weaknesses in markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have impacted airlines there. SAARC markets notably Pakistan and Sri Lanka also have seen challenges. These factors will help Air India to enter, capture traffic flows.
- It will put the first Indian airline among the top 10 global airlines in terms of the number of fleets.
- The Tata Group also brings commercial aircraft manufacturing into the country over time. Not only would it be a major boost to manufacturing but would pave the wave for technology transfer agreements which are critical.
- It will help the western economy to come out of its struggling economic situation after the covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine conflict-induced slowdown.
- There is a huge demand as more than 190 million domestic and international passengers taking to the Indian skies in 2023, and the number of flyers tripling by the end of the decade.
In the long run, a local manufacturing base for aircraft, and skilled manpower need to be generated.
The airport infrastructure needs to be further strengthened. This will benefit domestic economy, as well as enhance the global footprint of India’s aviation sector, both in passenger and freight traffic.