India's state-run airline receives first of 43 new Airbus aircraft

New Delhi (XFNews-ASIA) - State-run domestic carrier Indian (formerly known as Indian Airlines) today received the first jet of a 43-plane order placed with Europe's Airbus Industries under a 2 bln usd deal signed in February, officials said.

This is the first new aircraft that the airline added to its fleet in about a decade, a federal aviation ministry official said.

Delivery of all 43 aircraft is expected to be completed by March 2010, he said.

The A319 which joined the fleet today is the domestic carrier's 74th aircraft.

Reports today said the government is planning to merge international carrier Air India and its domestic counterpart Indian into a mega-carrier with about 130 aircraft to take on competition from rivals such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates and British Airways.

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