Air India unveiled deals on Tuesday for a record 470 jets from Airbus and Boeing, accelerating the rebirth of a national emblem under new owners Tata Group as Europe and the United States hailed deepening economic and political ties with New Delhi, APA reports citing Reuters.
The provisional deals include 220 planes from Boeing (BA.N) and 250 from Airbus (AIR.PA) and eclipse previous records for a single airline as Air India vies with domestic giant IndiGo to serve what will soon be the world's largest population.
U.S. President Joe Biden called the agreement "historic".
The Airbus order includes 210 A320neo narrowbody planes and 40 A350 widebody aircraft, which Air India will use to fly "ultra-long routes", Tata Chairman N Chandrasekaran said.
Boeing will supply 190 737 MAX, 20 of its 787 Dreamliners and 10 mini-jumbo 777X.
Together with another 25 Airbus jets to be leased to meet immediate needs, the overall acquisition reaches 495 jets, an Airbus executive said.
Reuters exclusively reported in December that Air India was nearing record airplane orders approaching 500 jets.
The airline's renaissance under the Tata conglomerate aims to capitalise on India's growing base of fliers and large diaspora across the world.
New CEO Campbell Wilson is working to revive its reputation as a world-class airline and shake off its image as a tardy, run-down operation with an ageing fleet and poor service.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted the political and economic importance of a deal involving India's former flag bearer.
"This important deal shows, along with the deepening of relations between India and France, the successes and aspirations of the civil aviation sector in India," Modi said.
"This achievement shows that Airbus and all its French partners are fully dedicated to develop new areas of dedication with India," Macron said during a video presentation.
The aviation deal is expected to have industrial spin-offs, with Macron pledging France will work with India in other sectors.
Chandrasekaran said Airbus and Tata were working on bigger partnerships, including an ambition "to bring in commercial aircraft manufacturing at some point in time in the future".
Industry sources say India has repeatedly lobbied for Airbus to add a final assembly line in the country, matching a plant in northern China, but that the planemaker has so far rejected the idea on financial and industrial grounds.