Tatas in talks with Boeing, Airbus to upgrade Air India's fleet

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, February 25, 2022, 03:37 PM IST
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Air India has a mixed fleet of over 140 Airbus and Boeing planes, and industry executives estimate it would cost Tata more than $1 billion to refurbish the aging aircraft./ Representational image |

Tatas, who got control of nationalised airline Air India, are in talks with Boeing Co and Airbus SE, to upgrade its fleet, sources told Reuters.

Through a competitive bidding process, the government sold loss-making Air India to Talace for Rs 18,000 crore. As part of the deal, Talace paid Rs 2,700 crore in cash and took over Rs 15,300 crore debt of the airline. The remaining debt and borrowings of Air India were transferred to AIAHL.

Air India was founded in 1932 and nationalised in 1953.

Air India has a mixed fleet of over 140 Airbus and Boeing planes, and industry executives estimate it would cost Tata more than $1 billion to refurbish the aging aircraft.

Tata had begun preliminary discussions with the planemakers and lessors for jets including Airbus A350-900s and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Tatas to make Air India world-class airline

Tata Group is committed to making Air India a world-class airline, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran had said after the conglomerate took over the ownership of the national carrier from the government.

Earlier this month, while virtually addressing employees of Air India across the globe, Chandrasekaran said, "We will upgrade our fleet. We will bring modernity to our fleet. We will bring a new fleet, we will expand our outreach," according to PTI.

He said ,"We will not only increase the number of aircraft that we will have, wide body and narrow body, (but) we will fly to many destinations."

Chandrasekaran said, "... in terms of fleet, we know we have work to do and when I talked to the management team, the commercial director and the engineering leadership, I know we have work to do. We will address it with most urgency... we will move with utmost urgency and speed in the coming months."

Chandrasekaran said there would organisational redesign to make the airline best again. It will "require a huge transformation, probably the largest transformation and the change all of you would ever go through".

(With inputs from Reuters, agencies)

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