Is there a new aircraft mega-order from India in the pipeline?
At a recent trip to Delhi for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire hinted at this on February 23, 2023.
The Indian low-cost airline IndiGo may be planning to acquire “several hundred” planes from Airbus, according to the French business journal Les Échos.
The 730 Airbus A320-family aircraft that Indigo has ordered over the past few years would increase with this purchase.
However, there are other options besides the Indian LCC. Le Maire’s remarks follow Air India’s confirmation of one of the biggest aircraft purchases in commercial aviation history: 470 aircraft altogether, of which 250 are from Airbus and 220 (+70 options) are from Boeing.
Although the startup carrier has so far only flown Boeing aircraft, it is said that another Indian carrier, Akasa Air, is also considering placing a sizable aircraft order of its own.
There have been calls for a final assembly line to be created in India due to the volume of orders coming from Indian airlines. According to recent allegations in the Indian media, the authorities of that nation have been tacitly approaching both Airbus and Boeing about that very prospect.
The fact that Airbus is already working with regional partners to construct C-295 military transport planes in India further sheds insight into this potential future. Another example is the European aircraft maker, which decentralized some of its production to important markets like the US and China.
During a video conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the CEOs of Airbus and Tata Sons, the company that bought Air India, the possibility of producing Airbus aircraft in India in the future was also discussed.