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Asia Minute: India's soaring aviation ambitions

APTOPIX India Aero Show
Aijaz Rahi
U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft F-35 takes off on the fourth day of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, India, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. Aero India is a biennial event with flying demonstrations by stunt teams and militaries and commercial pavilions where aviation companies display their products and technology.

Hawaiian Airlines plans to add Boeing's latest version of its passenger jet later this year.

The nation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings show Hawaiian Airlines will take delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner in the fourth quarter, with 11 more to follow over the next four years.

News of much more extensive plane orders has recently come from India, which is also in the market for military aircraft.

Air India has placed the largest recorded order for commercial aircraft — a staggering 470 airplanes.

There are diplomatic considerations to the order as well. About 250 of the aircrafts will come from the European manufacturer Airbus and 220 will come from Boeing, along with an option to buy up to 70 more from Boeing.

The value of the order tops $100 billion using list prices — and while the precise timetable is fluid, the first planes will go into service later this year.

President Biden called the deal a “historic agreement” that will support more than "one million jobs across 44 states.”

By Friday, attention had turned to military aircraft as the United States sent its largest delegation ever to Aero India — an air show held every other year.

U.S. planes on display this year included the top-of-the-line F-35, as well as F-16's, F-18's and B-1 Bombers.

Historically, India's key defense supplier has been Russia and U.S. officials say they are eager to shift that supply chain to western countries.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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