Air India is close to a deal to order more than 200 Boeing jets including 190 narrowbody 737 MAX and 30 widebody 787s – part of an historic fleet shake-up roughly split with Boeing’s European rival Airbus, industry sources said on Friday.
The deal is also expected to include an unspecified number of Boeing 777X long-range jets, they added.
Airbus is separately moving towards a deal with Air India including at least 200 of its A320-family narrowbody jets as well as dozens of larger A350s, industry sources said.
Boeing referred questions to the airline which said it had no immediate comment. Airbus declined comment.
Reuters reported on Sunday that Air India was close to placing orders approaching 500 jets – including 400 narrowbody models – worth tens of billions of dollars from Airbus and Boeing as it seeks a renaissance under the Tata Group.
Industry sources said Airbus is expected to win a slightly larger share of the huge fleet replacement and expansion.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that Boeing was closing in on an order for as many as 200 of its 737 MAX jets.
Experts caution 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.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Aditi Shah; editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)
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