12 Feb 2023

Air India Aims For A Bigger Share Of Global And Domestic Market With Finalization Of Mother Of All Aviation Deals

Mumbai: Air India of Tata Sons has finalized the order to buy 500 aircraft. The order includes 430 narrowbody and 70 widebody aircraft, and will be delivered over the next seven to eight years.

The planned order reflects a deliberate strategy to win back a solid share of traffic flows to and from India, which are currently dominated by foreign carriers such as Emirates.

Air India also wants to win a bigger share of regional international traffic and the domestic market, setting up a battle on both fronts with IndiGo.

Short-haul destination service with the narrowbody plane

Air India will be able to provide short-haul destination service of 4-5 hours with the narrowbody plane. With this, it will be able to give a tough competition to Indigo, which currently occupies more than 50% of the domestic market.

The Wise Body aircraft will help Tata expand its footprint in North America, Europe and Australia. Air India is likely to add around 50 aircraft by the end of FY24, which will increase its capacity by around 50%.

Challenges for Air India

Since acquiring Air India early last year, the Tata group has been in talks with aircraft manufacturers to improve its fleet. Recently, Air India's Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson had said that Air India wants to increase its market share by 30% on both domestic and international routes in the next 5 years.

The 500 jets would both replace and expand fleets in the world's fastest-growing airline market but experts warn many hurdles stand in the way of Air India's ambition to recover a strong global position, including frail domestic infrastructure, pilot shortages and the threat of tough competition with established Gulf and other carriers.

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