- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Boeing on Tuesday unveiled a massive new aircraft purchase agreement with Air India valued at $34 billion, the company’s third largest sale of all time by dollar value, as India’s largest international commercial airline makes strides to keep pace with growing demand.

Under the new agreement, Boeing will field 190 737 Max airliners, 20 787s and 10 777Xs. The agreement includes options for additional purchases of 50 737 Max jets and 20 787s for a total of 290 airplanes valued at $45.9 billion.

Air India is also purchasing 250 airliners from French manufacturer Airbus, including 40 wide-body A350s and 210 narrow-body A320neo airplanes. Airbus did not disclose the total dollar value of the deal.

Boeing’s CEO of Commercial Airplanes Stan Deal said the purchase will bolster engineering and manufacturing jobs in Washington state, South Carolina and across Boeing’s supply base.

As part of the purchase, Air India has also contracted Boeing Global Services for maintenance, training and lifecycle support.

President Biden touted the deal as part of his pledge to return the U.S. to its position as a global manufacturing leader.

“The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing,” Mr. Biden said. “This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree.”

The purchase agreement follows last month’s launch of a joint U.S.-India initiative to expand the two countries’ partnership on developing critical emerging technology.

“Together with Prime Minister [Narendra] 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,” Mr. Biden said.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Mr. Modi also noted the strides in the relationship between France and India as evidenced by the Airbus purchase.

“This achievement shows that Airbus and all its French partners are fully dedicated to developing new areas of dedication with India,” Mr. Macron said.

The 470 jet purchase adds to Air India’s efforts to modernize and expand as India eyes substantial growth in its domestic passenger market fueled by a fast-growing economy and rising incomes.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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