The airline’s spokesman, Jitender Bhargava, confirms from Mumbai that the GEnx is Air India’s powerplant of choice for the 787s that it plans to order. He says the selection was made earlier this year when the state-owned carrier began seeking government approval for its major aircraft order, although it was not revealed until now.
Air India’s board approved the proposed order in April, covering up to 68 Boeing aircraft including as many as 50 777 and 787 widebodies as well as 18 737-800 narrowbodies.
The carrier has said the firm portion of the widebody agreement will comprise 20 787s in two-class configuration, 10 777-300ERs in three-class configuration and five 777-200LRs in three-class configuration. It expects to take options on seven 787s, five 777-300ERs and three 777-200LRs.
General Electric’s GE90 is the sole powerplant for the 777-200LR and –300ER. The CFM56 by CFM International, in which General Electric is a shareholder, is the sole powerplant for current-generation 737s.
Bhargava says Air India hopes to secure approval later this month from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, after which a firm order can be placed with the manufacturer. Earlier this month approval was secured from the Government’s Public Investment Board.
Air India has been planning a fleet modernisation and expansion for years but decisions have repeatedly been deferred. As a result it has been forced to rely on leasing to expand its fleet to enable it to better compete with foreign airlines that have been securing more rights to serve India.
Source: Flight International