Air India’s Plane Shopping Spree – 220 from Boeing, 250 from Airbus; Modi, Biden, Macron React

As part of its historic expansion, Air India will purchase 220 planes from Boeing, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The Indian airline also has options for an additional 70 Boeing aircraft, for a potential total of 290 jets, the White House official said, AFP reported.

Announcing the deal, US President Joe Biden said he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are looking forward to deepening India-US ties.

“The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing. I am proud to announce today the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing. This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree. This announcement also reflects the strength of the US-India economic partnership. Together with PM Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continued to confront shared global challenges- creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens,” he said.

The announcement came hours after Air India announced a similar order with European aerospace titan Airbus.

PM Modi, Biden Welcome Landmark Air India-Boeing Agreement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the deepening of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, which has resulted in robust growth in all domains.

They welcomed the announcement of a landmark agreement between Air India and Boeing as a shining example of mutually beneficial cooperation that will help create new employment opportunities in both countries. The Prime Minister invited Boeing and other US companies to make use of the opportunities arising due to the expanding civil aviation sector in India.

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Air India to Purchase 250 Aircraft from Airbus

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday attended the launch of the new Air India-Airbus partnership via video conference. As part of the mega-deal, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, announced the purchase of 250 aircraft from Airbus.

PM Modi Says Tie-up Important Milestone for India-France Partnership

Hailing the deal, PM Modi said the tie-up is an important milestone for the India-France strategic partnership. “This important deal reflects the deepening ties between India and France, as well as the successes and aspirations of India’s civil aviation sector,” the Prime Minister said.

Chandrasekaran, who was present at the virtual meeting, said, “We have built a very good relationship with Airbus. Today, I am happy to announce that we have signed a letter of intent to acquire 250 aircraft from Airbus.”

Tata Group-owned Air India will get 250 Airbus planes — 210 single-aisle A320neos and 40 widebody A350s, worth more than $50 billion at list prices, according to a Moneycontrol report. The deal is part of Air India’s plans to expand its fleet and operations.

At the meeting, Chandrasekaran said the wide-body planes will be used for ultra-long-haul flights. Flights that have a duration of a little over 16 hours are called ultra-long-haul flights.

The virtual meet was also attended by Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Airbus SE CEO Guillaume Faury, Air India CMD Campbell Wilson, Ratan Tata, and Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Stressing the importance of air connectivity, PM Modi said, “Through our Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN), remote parts of the country are being connected through air connectivity, which is boosting the economic and social development of people.”

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“Many new opportunities are opening up in aerospace manufacturing under India’s ‘Make in India – Make for the World’ vision,” the PM added. Modi further said that India and France together are making a positive contribution — whether with regard to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, or global food security and health security.

Airbus-Tata Contract a New Stage in India-France’s Strategic Partnership: Macron

Macron also hailed the Air India-Airbus deal saying that the “achievement shows that Airbus and all its French partners are fully dedicated to develop new areas of cooperation with India”. “We’ve achieved so much with India. We’ve historic opportunity to go much further, given the potential of Indian people,” Macron added.

“The end of the pandemic should lead to more exchanges between our two countries. Students, scientists, artists, businessmen, women, tourists all are most welcome to France and I encourage Indians to come and be part of this French Indian friendship,” he said.

One of Biggest Export Deals, Huge Win for UK’s Aerospace Sector: Sunak

UK PM Rishi Sunak said Tata-Airbus deal is one of the biggest export deals to India in decades and a huge win for the UK’s aerospace sector.

“With wings from Broughton and engines from Derby, this deal will support jobs around the country and help deliver one of our five priorities – growing the economy,” he said.

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