The Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus stated on Sunday that the airline is reorganising itself under the “able guardianship” of the Tatas and that Air India, which is owned by the Tata Group, will invest in new aircraft to recapture international passenger market share.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) held in Doha, Christian Scherer was asked whether Air India had finalised the A350 aircraft order with Airbus. Scherer responded, “I won’t comment on that.
His comments came after it was recently reported that Air India has decided to procure its maiden batch of wide-bodied A350 aircraft from Airbus and the first plane is likely to be delivered to the airline by March next year.
However, it was not immediately clear how many A350 aircraft will be purchased by the Tata Group-owned airline.
According to the Chief Commercial Officer of the European Aerospace company,” Air India is reorganising itself under the very able stewardship of the Tatas and as such, it is very natural that they contemplate an investment in new fleets, new airplanes, if only to regain more sovereignty, more market share, for an Indian carrier in the international market,”
The new owners of Air India are in discussions with Boeing and Airbus SE about placing an order for numerous new aircraft. Tata Sons Pvt has started negotiations with the manufacturers and lessors of aircraft, including Airbus A350-900s and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, after purchasing the indebted airline from the government.
According to reports, Air India has begun gauging senior pilots’ interest in undergoing “conversion training” to fly A350 aircraft.
The Boeing wide-bodied aircraft are flown by pilots trained by Air India. They must therefore go through “conversion training” to fly an Airbus A350.
According to the Air India website, the airline has 49 wide-bodied aircraft in its fleet, including 18 Boeing 777, 4 Boeing 747, and 27 Boeing 787. The airliner’s fleet also includes 79 narrow-body aircraft.
Since April, the airline’s chairman—who is also the chairman of the Tata Group—has changed the airline’s top management by hiring senior and middle-level executives with experience from the Tata Group’s other businesses, including Tata Steel and Vistara.