Air India will order about 500 aircraft as the airline industry’s recovery from the pandemic continues, one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors said Monday.
“As a result of this recovery, there is now more momentum for large orders from airlines that have kind of sat back and watched the movie, and now they see there will be a positive trend,” said Steven Udvar-Hazy, executive chairman of AirLease Corp., told the Airline Economics conference.
“We have an order of 500 aircraft coming in from India, which will be about 400 narrow-body aircraft, probably a mix of (Airbus) A320neos, A321neos and (Boeing) 737 MAXs, and 100 wide-body aircraft, including (Boeing) 787s, 777X, possibly about 777 freighters and (Airbus) A350s.”
The comments are the first public indication of the size of the planned order after Reuters reported in December that Air India was on the verge of ordering as many as 500 jets as it sparks a renaissance under the Tata Group conglomerate.
Industry sources say finalizing the proposed deal depends on ongoing negotiations with engine manufacturers.
Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Airbus and Boeing did not immediately comment.
United Airlines recently ordered 200 large and small aircraft. China placed a block order for Airbus jets last year.
“We expect a number of airlines to place large orders and most of these orders will be replacements,” said Udvar-Hazy.
He predicted that airlines would increasingly return to medium-sized wide-body jets after significant delays in the development of Boeing’s largest new model, the 400-seat 777X – which is currently five years old and may continue to rise.
“We expect both OEMs to be under pressure in the coming years to increase production, not necessarily back to 2018 levels, but certainly well above current production.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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