Today’s Air India mega-order is big news for all concerned. This is like the “Good ‘Ole Days”! We offer a breakdown of how it might look – since Boeing and Air India did not specify the MAX deal. We list the order by aircraft size category as this helps explain it.
Let’s start with the MAX order for 190 -8s and -10s. Using the Airbus A320neo/A321neo order as a guide, we estimate the MAX breakdown as above. Airbus has 66 percent in the A320neo, and we estimate the same might occur with MAX 8s. Note that this means the single-aisle order is one-third in the single-aisle MoM segment. That fits right where we see the deliveries happening for the industry as a whole.
The twin-aisle order is less easy to decipher. The six A350-900s confirmed today appear to be a sub-fleet which is usually not optimal. Air India has 27 787-8s, and the 20 787-9s will be a useful addition to that fleet. The weight on the 34 A350-1000s (plus likely 10 options, if Rolls-Royce’s press release is correct) and 10 777-9 signal intent to serve long-haul markets non-stop.
CFM is the big winner
In terms of engines, CFM and GE Aerospace make a big win. Although a Pratt & Whitney GTF customer since 2016, IndiGo has become more CFM-focused since 2019. This could make India an even bigger location for a large engine MRO. Last July, Safran already opened new production sites for the LEAP in India. The other engine selections come with the models: the General Electric GENx for the Boeing 787, the GE9X for the 777-9, and the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB for the Airbus A350.
In summary, Air India’s order enabled the airline to refresh its entire fleet. The new fleet can support traffic in any direction. And, a lot of traffic at that. There will certainly be interest in connecting traffic between the South Pacific and the EU, as well as Africa and Asia. This means Qatar and Emirates must be pondering what this means for them. Before these two giant connectors get concerned, India’s airport capacity will have to improve substantially. Air India’s big bet will pressure India to accelerate its airport infrastructure capacity and growth.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.