Flight International online news 11:30GMT: India’s government has finally given approval to a long-delayed plan by state-owned Indian Airlines to purchase 43 Airbus narrowbodies, allowing the carrier to order new aircraft for the first time in more than a decade.

Indian Airlines -  A300 Airbus
Indian Airlines A300 Airbus

Approval for the deal was announced today in New Delhi by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh after meetings with visiting European Union leaders including UK prime minister Tony Blair.

The approval should allow for a final contract to be signed with Airbus for the 43 aircraft. If the carrier maintains its original plans the deal will comprise 20 A321s, 19 A319s and four A320s, all powered by CFM International CFM56 engines.

Indian Airlines has not ordered aircraft in well over a decade and has instead been expanding its fleet with leased aircraft.

Yesterday a group of Indian ministers met with Airbus executives in Delhi, after which they said they had secured a better price from the manufacturer.

Indian Airlines says it desperately needs to renew and grow its fleet to help it compete more effectively with privately owned carriers, which have been expanding rapidly.


Source: Flight International