US President Biden hails ‘historic agreement’ after Air India-Boeing plane deal

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WASHINGTON: Air India, which will buy 250 aircraft from Airbus, has also selected Boeing for the purchase of up to 290 planes as part of its growth strategy.

US President Joe Biden hailed a “historic agreement” for Air India to purchase Boeing airplanes. France President Emmanuel Macron had earlier hailed the contract between Airbus and Tata Sons and said it marks a new stage in India and France’s strategic partnership.

“The contract that Airbus and Tata Sons signed this morning marks a new stage in India and France’s strategic partnership. Thank you @NarendraModi , for your confidence in France and our industry,” Macron said in a tweet.

Boeing said in a statement that Air India has selected up to 290 of its jets to serve its strategy for sustainable growth. It said Air India has selected 190 737 MAX, 20 787 Dreamliner and 10 777X airplanes. The agreement between Boeing and Air India includes options for 50 additional 737 MAXs and 20 787-9s aircrafts.

Boeing said when finalized, this will be its largest Boeing order in South Asia and a historic milestone in the aerospace company’s nearly 90-year partnership with Air India.

Biden said in a statement released by White House that the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through agreement between Air India and Boeing reflects the strength of the US-India economic partnership.The US President said he and Prime Minister Narendra Mod look forward to deepening partnership even further.

“The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing. I am proud to announce today the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing. This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree,” the statement said.

“This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership. Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges–creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens,” it added.

Air India said on Tuesday that it will buy 250 aircraft from France’s Airbus, in what is billed as the world’s largest aviation deal in history.

“We have built a very good relationship with Airbus. Today I am happy to announce that we have signed a letter of intent to acquire 250 aircrafts from Airbus,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, at a virtual unveiling of the announcement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

PM Modi said that the deal shows the “deepening ties” between India and France and reflection of India’s successes and expectations in the civil aviation sector.

He extended congratulations and best wishes on the landmark agreement between Air India and Airbus.

“My special thanks to my friend President Macron for joining us in this event. This important deal not only demonstrates the ever-deepening relations between India and France. But, are also reflections of India’s successes and expectations in the civil aviation sector,” he said.

Macron had said during the virtual deal unveiling event that the achievement shows that Airbus and all its French partners are fully dedicated to develop new areas of cooperation with India.

“We’ve achieved so much with India. We’ve historic opportunity to go much further, given the potential of Indian people,” he said.

The deal includes 40 A350 wide-body ultra-long-range aircraft. The rest will be narrow-body aircraft.

“We have significant options to increase the fleet orders once we grow,” Chandrasekaran said. Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, veteran industrialist Ratan Tata, and other leaders were present during the virtual conference.

“It is a historic moment for Airbus to help script Air India’s revival,” Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said in a video conference.

Air India was looking for a remix of aircraft to boost their domestic and international network through recent orders. Soon after the divestment of the airline, CEO Campbell announced in its speech to the AI employees that the airline is going for a historic order. (ANI)

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