Tata Group-owned Air India Ltd. is close to signing a deal with Boeing Co. to buy up to 150 737 Max planes, marking the first major aircraft order after the carrier’s privatization, the Economic Times reported, citing people it did not identify.
According to the report, Air India is set to make a firm order for 50 737 Max aircraft with an option to purchase up to 150. Tata took over debt-ridden Air India earlier this year.
A Boeing spokesperson declined to comment to Economic Times. Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of office hours
The airline's plans to add more fuel-efficient planes may help it increase its domestic and international market share. Tata's recent decision to merge Air India with Vistara, which it owns in partnership with Singapore Airlines Ltd., is expected to result in the formation of a behemoth in one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets.
The integration is set to make Air India the country’s largest international and second-largest local carrier with a fleet of 218 aircraft.
The deal will give Singapore Air a 25.1% stake in the merged carrier for an investment of $250 million. Both the partners have agreed to inject fresh capital if needed in the coming two years in the enlarged Air India, with Singapore Air’s share potentially as much as $615 million.