The Tata Group-owned Air India has placed two big orders with Europe’s Airbus consortium and Boeing for 470 planes – the largest ever single order placed by an airline in aviation history. As per the list price, the value of the order is around $70 billion.
This order is evidently part of a strategy to rapidly expand the fleet and increase market share. It does raise some questions though: Does India have the aviation infrastructure to support such a vast expansion? What are the challenges for Air India in terms of manpower, such as pilots and trainers, and training infrastructure? How will it handle the competition from other airlines? What are the implications in terms of passenger safety, given that some of the planes are of a type that Air India pilots have never flown before, and pilot shortage may be an issue for years to come?
Guest: Jagriti Chandra, who covers aviation for The Hindu.
Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.
Edited by Jude Francis Weston
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