Air India will order around 500 aircraft as the airline industry recovers from the pandemic, one of the world’s leading aircraft leasing companies said on Monday.
Director Steven Udvar-Hazy said, “As a result of this recovery, there is more momentum in bulk orders from airlines who are comfortable with the film and now they see a positive trend ahead.” The Chairman of AirLease Corp spoke at the Airline Economics conference.
“We have an order for 500 aircraft from India. It will be about 400 narrow-body aircraft, probably a mix of (Airbus) A320neos, A321neos and (Boeing) 737 MAX. (Boeing) 787s, 777X , potentially some 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 had come close to ordering as many as 500 jets as it pioneered a renaissance under the Tata Group conglomerate.
Industry sources say finalizing the proposed deal will depend on ongoing negotiations with the engine manufacturer.
Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Airbus and Boeing were not immediately available for comment.
United Airlines recently placed an order for 200 large and small aircraft. China placed large orders for Airbus jets last year.
“We expect many airlines to place large orders, and most of these orders will be replaced again,” said Udvar-Hazy.
He predicted that airlines would increasingly return to midsize, wide-body jets after significant delays in development of Boeing’s biggest new model, the 400-seat 777X.
“We expect both OEMs to come under pressure to speed up production over the next few years. Not necessarily going back to 2018 levels, but certainly well above current production.”