Air India gears up to place an historic order for 370 aircraft to be split between Boeing and Airbus

MUMBAI, INDIA — Air India is in talks with Boeing and Airbus to upgrade its fleet by ordering new aircraft. The airline, which was acquired by the Indian conglomerate Tata Group earlier this year, accelerates efforts to renew its aging fleet.

"We are in deep discussion with Boeing, Airbus, and engine manufacturers for a historic order of the latest generation aircraft that will power Air India's medium- and long-term growth," Air India's CEO Campbell Wilson said at a Tata corporate event in Mumbai on Saturday.

Mr. Wilson also said Air India was aiming to increase its market share to 30% on both domestic and international routes over the next five years by expanding its fleet and global route network.

Air India currently has a domestic market share of around 10% and an international market share of around 12%. In September, the airline announced its intention to lease 30 Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

According to industry sources who are familiar with the matter, the airline is close place an order of $50 billion to be split between Airbus and Boeing.

The same sources said both manufacturers were pushing for the potential order, including up to 70 wide and 300 narrow-body jetliners.

The airline has recently appointed Skytech-AIC, an independent, UK-based aircraft lessor and marketing agent, to market its four Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets.

Tata Group is also considering combining its four airline brands, including Air India, Vistara, Air India Express, and AirAsia India, under Air India Ltd. The Group is reportedly to scrap the Vistara brand, which is Singapore Airlines Ltd.'s local affiliate in India.

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