Air India to raise $8B for new jets

By agencies   |   Thursday, 16 February 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: IndiaÂ’s flagship carrier state owned Air India will raise between $7-8 billion to buy 68 airplanes from Boeing Co., the largest ever deal in Indian aviation, officials said Thursday.

The money will be raised from domestic and overseas banks, and the airline has already secured an initial $500 million in financing, Air India spokesman Rahul Chopra said.

Under the deal inked in January and initially valued at $11 billion, Air India has agreed to purchase 27 787s, 15 777-300ERs and eight 777-200L Air India will also buy 18 new planes for Air India Express, its low-cost subsidiary.

Air India, which currently has a fleet of 42 aircraft, is replacing its aging planes in hopes of better competing with private carriers.

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