Rolls-Royce, Airbus pen deal with Air India for 250 planes in boost for UK manufacturing
Rolls-Royce and Airbus have signed multi-billion pound deal to build 250 new planes for Air India, which is set to create hundreds of new jobs in the UK.
The wings will be designed in Filton and assembled in Broughton, creating 450 manufacturing jobs and bringing in more than than £100m of investment to Wales.
Meanwhile, the A350 aircraft are being exclusively powered by Rolls-Royce XWB engines, assembled and tested in Derby.
Rolls-Royce announced it received the order, but financial details are not being disclosed.
Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO, Rolls-Royce plc, said “the size and magnitude of this order reflects the level of ambition for the future.
Congratulating Air India on the “bold step towards becoming one of the world’s greatest airlines”.
“With a dynamic and growing aviation industry, India is a strategically important market for us and we look forward to working with Air India as they connect their passengers across global communities and cultures.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and newly-promoted business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch welcomed the momentous deal, and the new jobs it will bring, this morning.
Sunak said: “This landmark deal between Air India, Airbus and Rolls-Royce demonstrates that the sky’s the limit for the UK’s thriving aerospace sector.
“It will create better-paid jobs and new opportunities in manufacturing hubs from Derby to Wales, so we can grow the economy and support our agenda to level up – helping to deliver on my five priorities for the country.”
Badenoch said the deal marked a “significant win” for the UK’s world-leading aerospace sector and one which will help to secure thousands of highly skilled jobs and drive economic growth.
“It’s a shot in the arm for UK exports as we aim to sell £1 trillion of goods and services a year to the world by the end of the decade,” Badenoch.
“We’re currently negotiating a trade deal with India which could boost trade by up to £28 billion a year by 2035. Export wins like this are another big step to our nations forming a closer trading relationship,” she added.
India is due to become the third largest economy in the world by 2050, as it develops one of the biggest middle classes on the planet. Its population is now over 1.5bn and its GDP is over three trillion USD.
The UK’s aerospace industry brought in more than £10bn to the economy in 2021, and employs more than 111,000 people directly.
Campbell Wilson, CEO, Air India, said: “We are delighted to commence this partnership with Rolls-Royce, and to have their Trent XWB engines power our new fleet of A350 aircraft.
“We are confident that they will provide us with the reliability and efficiency consumers expect of today’s leading airlines.”