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PM Modi, US President Biden, France's Macron hail 'historic' Air India deals


DELHI/MUMBAI/WASHINGTON: The Tata group-owned Air India on Tuesday placed the largest-ever aircraft order in global aviation history with letters of intent signed for purchase of 470 aircraft, a mix of narrow-body and wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The aggregate purchase value at list prices for the 470 firm order, 160 options and 210 purchase rights for aircraft is $ 115 billion, said sources.


With Air India splitting its order between arch-rivals, the American Boeing and the French Airbus, PM Narendra Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden emphasised the significance of the development for Indo-US and Indo-French ties.


The order comprises 40 Airbus A350s, 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777-9s widebody aircraft, which will be deployed on long-haul international routes and then, 210 Airbus A320/321 neos, 190 Boeing 737 MAX narrow body aircraft that will largely operate on domestic routes.


Prior to this, the largest aircraft single order placed was in 2011 by AM R Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, which had ordered a mix of 460 narrow body from Boeing and Airbus.

The mega deal underlined the ambition of Air India under its new owner Tata to regain the pre-eminent status as well as India's emergence as a major aviation market. With Air India splitting its order between arch-rivals, the Amercian Boeing and the French Airbus, whose business interests have always been championed by their respective governments, PM Narendra Modi, French President Emmanuel Maron and US President Joe Biden emphasised the significance of the development for Indo-US and Indo-French ties.


PM Modi and French President Macron held a virtual meeting on the signing of the Air India-Airbus agreement for purchase of 250 aircraft with Modi calling it a landmark agreement and an important milestone for India-France strategic partnership. Modi, in his speech, said the deal is a testament to the deepening relationship between India and France as well as the successes and ambitions of India's civil aviation industry.


Saying that in the near future India will become the third largest market in the world in the aviation sector, Modi said, "According to several estimates, India will need over 2,000 aircraft in the next 15years. Under 'Make in India' several new opportunities are emerging in the field of aerospace manufacturing." French President Macron said: "This achievement shows that Airbus and all its French partners, including Safran, are dedicated to develop new areas of cooperation with India."


Read more at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/97932320.cms

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