Tata-owned Air India is set to receive a substantial addition to its fleet with the acquisition of 55 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, originally designated for a Chinese carrier, according to reports from Leeham News. Out of this order, ten of the Boeing 737 MAX planes have been allocated to Air India Express, a low-cost subsidiary of the Tata Air India Group.
The order for these aircraft, a part of a larger acquisition plan unveiled in February, comprises a potential total of up to 190 Boeing 737 MAX planes. The formalization of this order took place at the June 2023 Paris Air Show.
Air India Express is now gearing up to receive a total of ten Boeing 737 MAX airplanes. The specific aircraft designations for this subsidiary include:
- MSN 61409
- MSN 61411
- MSN 61636
- MSN 61639
- MSN 61650
- MSN 61647
- MSN 61658
- MSN 61655
- MSN 61662
- MSN 61660
The first two aircraft, MSN 61409 and MSN 61411, were originally intended for Okay Airways (BK). The subsequent three, MSN 61636, MSN 61639, and MSN 61650, were initially announced for Shanghai Airlines (FM). The remaining five planes, MSN 61647, MSN 61658, MSN 61655, MSN 61662, and MSN 61660, were initially designated for China Eastern Airlines (MU). Notably, all three of these airlines are based in China.
Further aircraft transfers to Air India Express are anticipated in the following months.
Delivery of the initial Boeing 737 MAX to Air India is projected to occur in either July or August of this year, according to Ch-aviation. The airline has already initiated the hiring process for pilots and operational crew to prepare for the incorporation of the new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into its operations.
Apart from the 55 planes mentioned, Air India’s purchase agreement with Boeing covers a total of 190 Boeing MAX aircraft, in addition to 20 Dreamliners (787-9) and 10 777-9 planes. Moreover, the airline retains an option to acquire 70 more Boeing aircraft, including 50 MAX planes and 20 Dreamliners, which would increase the total count of Boeing planes in the order to 290.
In related news, GE Aerospace has received an order for 40 GEnx-1B and 20 GE9X engines from Air India. A comprehensive multiyear engine services agreement has also been established for 20 Boeing 787 and 10 Boeing 777X aircraft.
Air India has already initiated a hiring drive to bring in pilots for its forthcoming Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This effort is aligned with the airline’s ongoing expansion plans and its integration of Air India Express into the newly formed AIX Connect, which also includes Air Asia India. The hiring process is being promoted through various platforms, including social media.
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