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Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Air India is set to order about 500 planes as the airline industry recovers from the pandemic, one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors said on Monday.

“As a result of this recovery, there is now more momentum for large orders from airlines who have kind of sat back and watched the movie, and now they see that there will be a positive trend,” CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy. The chairman of AirLease Corp said at the Airline Economics conference.

“We have this order of 500 aircraft coming out of India, which will be about 400 narrow-body aircraft, probably a mix of (Airbus) A320neos, A321neos and (Boeing) 737 MAX, and 100 wide-bodies. (Boeing) 787s, 777X, possibly about 777 freighters and (Airbus) A350s.”

The comments are the first public indication of the scale of the planned order since Reuters reported in December that Air India was close to ordering 500 planes as it builds a revival under conglomerate Tata Group.

Industry sources said the finalization of the proposed deal is dependent on ongoing negotiations with engine manufacturers.

Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Airbus and Boeing had no immediate comment.

United Airlines recently ordered 200 large and small planes. Last year, China placed a block order for Airbus jets.

“We expect a number of airlines to place large orders, and again most of those orders will be for replacements,” Udvar-Hazy said.

He predicted airlines would increasingly return to midsize wide-body jets after significant delays in development of Boeing’s biggest new model, the 400-seat 777X, which is currently five years in the works and potentially growing.

“We expect both OEMs to be under pressure over the next few years to increase production rates, not necessarily back to the level they were in 2018, but certainly much higher than current production.”

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)

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