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Air India investing in new aircraft to regain market share: Airbus executive

Forum Gandhi | | Updated on: Jun 20, 2022
Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer | Photo Credit: BRIAN SNYDER

Refuses comment on A350 aircraft order

Air India is investing in new airplanes in a bid to regain market share, according to a top Airbus executive.

“Air India is clearly reorganising itself under the able stewardship of the Tatas and it’s very natural that they contemplate an investment in new fleet and new airplanes, if only to regain more sovereignty and more market share for an Indian carrier in the international market,” Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer, at Airbus, said on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Doha.

When asked if Air India had finalised the A350 aircraft order with Airbus., Scherer said “I will not comment on that.”

Tata Sons has been in discussion with aircraft makers to renew the Air India fleet. The airline may introduce the A350 by the first quarter of 2023, according to Bloomberg. It was reported earlier that talks were on for narrowbody aircraft as well, including Airbus and Boeing Co.’s workhorse models. The deal may involve as many as 50 A350 jets and 100 A321neo aircraft

Meanwhile, the Tatas are looking to bring all its aviation brands under one umbrella. Tatas have already merged Air Asia with Air India. Philip Goh, Regional Vice-President, Asia-Pacific at IATA, said the merger between Air India and Air Asia is sensible as it would help in finding synergies. The next step would be the merger with Vistara but that will require approval from joint venture partner Singapore Airlines. The appointment of a former Singapore Airlines executive, Campbell Wilson as the Chief Executive Officer of Air India is being seen as a step towards the merger.

Published on June 19, 2022
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