updated 4/26/2005 2:18:51 PM ET 2005-04-26T18:18:51

Air India announced plans Tuesday to order 50 new Boeing jetliners — a deal worth $6.8 billion.

The announcement came one day after Air Canada said it made firm orders for 32 Boeing jets at a list price of $6 billion.

State-owned Air India said its board had approved the purchase of eight 777-200 long-haul jetliners, 15 777-300 medium range aircraft and 27 787s — Chicago-based Boeing's newest jet, the Dreamliner.

According to Indian regulations, the decision requires the approval of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Cabinet. It was not immediately clear when that would happen.

Air India spokesman Jeetendra Bhargava said the board reached its decision after reviewing purchase proposals from both Boeing and rival Airbus SAS.

The total cost of the planes is estimated to be about $6.8 billion, the company said. The delivery schedule would be decided only after government approvals were obtained.

Earlier this month, Boeing's senior vice president of sales Dinesh Keskar said his company had offered "comprehensive and competitive bids" for the planes and last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta visited New Delhi and said relations between the United States and India would benefit if Boeing gets the order.

The French government has been lobbying on behalf of Europe-based Airbus, and French Transportation Minister Gilles de Robien was in New Delhi on Monday to meet with India's aviation minister, Praful Patel.

Indian Airlines, the domestic counterpart of Air India, wants to buy 42 planes from Airbus and is waiting for government approval. Robien said he hoped Air India also would choose Airbus.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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