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Airbus, Boeing Court Air India in Blockbuster Aircraft Upgrade

  • Airline may split major order between two arch rivals
  • Boeing poised to gain foothold in market dominated by Airbus
An Airbus SE A350 aircraft during an aerial display at Farnborough International Airshow.

An Airbus SE A350 aircraft during an aerial display at Farnborough International Airshow.

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The potential blockbuster deal of this year’s Farnborough air show still hangs in the balance, with Airbus SE growing more confident it can secure a landmark purchase of about 50 A350 wide-body jets from Air India Ltd. at the event, and Boeing Co. working on a deal for as many as 150 737 Max jetliners. 

The Indian carrier is considering Boeing’s narrow-body planes alongside the Airbus A350 jets, as part of a fleet renewal under new owner Tata Group, according to people familiar with the negotiations. Airbus’s long wait time for A320neo delivery slots may constrain its effort to come up with a rival offer for narrow-bodies, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private deliberations.