Air India defers jets; Boeing talks with Thai

Air India is pushing back delivery dates on 30 787s and 777s, in a cost-cutting move.

The airline also says it will lease out three ultra-long-range 777-200LRs that Boeing recently delivered to it.

The deferals are part of a cost-cutting plan that will save Air India about $322 million, according to The Hindu newspaper. Air India was scheduled to take three 777-300ERs starting next year, and was set to take the first of its 27 787-8s in April 2011.

The planes were all part of a 68-jet order that the state-run airline placed in December 2005. The deal was valued at $11 billion at list prices at the time, although its actual value probably was more like $7.8 billion, after discounts.

Airbus also has been dealing with customer deferals. On Tuesday, US Airways also announced it will defer delivery of 54 Airbus jets — A320s and A330s — until at least 2013, a move that will save it $2.5 billion in the short term. US Air also said it would push back delivery of its first A350XWBs from 2015 to 2017.

All these deferals could put pressure on Boeing and Airbus production rates in the near term. However, they could also open slots for the handful of airlines that are looking to buy planes right now, such as United Airlines or Emirates.

In other news, Boeing executives say they’re talking with Thai Airways about an order for 777F cargo jets. Thai recently announced plans to launch a new cargo-jet business.


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