As the Indian aviation sector landscape gets more active with the entry of new airlines and the rejuvenation of old ones, the recently-privatized Tata Group-owned Air India is ready to take on the competition with a shining new arsenal.
The Tata Group is expected to close soon an agreement with Boeing Co. to purchase as many as 150 737 Max aircraft, reported. The deal will be the 1st significant purchase of the Maharaja-besotted airline after going to camp Tata Group.
Air India is likely to take delivery of
The order is also the biggest yet for the American aircraft manufacturer since its deal of 75 aircraft to Akasa Air in the last year 2021. Air India is likely to take delivery of fifty 737 MAX aircraft initially, with an option to pick up as many as 150.
Tata-owned Air India favored the American aircraft maker for the order as it promised to deliver fifty aircraft by next year March 2023. The planes were initially meant to be delivered to China Southern, which had placed an order and was supposed to take quick delivery of 103 new aircraft, the report said. The Air India and Boeing agreement is likely to be finalized in the next few days.
The report further said that Airbus may even get to complete the orders from Air India as the Tata Group airline is likely to purchase more planes amid aggressive expansion plans.
Boeing had an edge over Airbus as the American manufacturer promised complete the order and deliver 50 737 Max planes as soon as possible early next year 2023, while the French company could not promise deliveries of A320 Neo until 2025, the report said.
The statement further said that Boeing wasn’t able to complete the Chinese order as the country’s air safety and aviation regulator hasn’t re-certified the aircraft after grounding it in 2019 following 2 crashes. Under new management helmed by CEO Cambell Wilson, Air India has unveiled significant expansion plans, which involve winning a 30% market share both on domestic and international routes in the next few years.
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The airline recently roped in British brand and design consultancy firm Futurebrands to rework the Tata Group airline’s branding strategy. Futurebrands, which has operated with American Airlines & automaker Bentley, will redraw Air India’s identity to make it more appealing to an international audience.
The airline may also be considering a new mascot as the 76-year-old ‘Maharajah’ is regarded by some within the company as ‘outdated’, according to a source report.
The airline also hired former MakeMyTrip executive Sunil Suresh as its chief marketing officer, and Colin Neubronner, who conceptualized the branding of Singapore Airlines and Jet Airways, to its new brand-building team.
The rebranding exercise makes sense as Tatas Group Airlines looks to merge its four airlines into 2 companies. Tata Sons plan to merge Vistara with Air India to create a complete-service airline by 2024 and is in the middle of merging AirAsia India and Air India Express to create a low-cost airline.
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