Tata Sons-owned Air India (AI, Delhi International) has been in talks with Airbus and Boeing as well as lessors about a potential order for new aircraft to rejuvenate its aging fleet, unnamed sources familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg News.

A deal could involve A350-900s and B787-9s, but the size of the order is not yet clear as talks are at a preliminary stage and Tata is still assessing the right fleet mix, the insiders said. The discussions include both narrowbodies for Air India’s domestic and medium-haul operations and widebodies to operate to destinations such as the United States.

The conglomerate has not yet commented on the issue, while both Airbus and Boeing told the news agency vaguely that they are always in regular discussions with current and prospective customers on their fleet requirements. Air India did not immediately respond to ch-aviation’s request for comment.

The carrier currently operates a varied fleet of 124 aircraft, according to the ch-aviation fleets module, each type of which requires separate skill sets from pilots. These are twenty-one A319-100s (average age 13.6 years), nine A320-200s (average age 9.1 years), twenty-seven A320-200N (average age 4.1 years), twenty A321-200s (average age 13.3 years), four B747-400s (average age 26.7 years), three B777-200LRs (average age 12.6 years), thirteen B777-300ERs (average age 12.3 years), and twenty-seven B787-8s (average age 7.7 years).

Tata chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran told Air India employees earlier this month in an internal briefing: “In terms of fleet, we know we have work to do. We will address it with utmost urgency. We’ll upgrade our fleet, we’ll bring modernity to our fleet, we’ll bring a new fleet.”

In related news, Tata Sons may review the recent appointment of former Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul Airport) chairman Ilker Ayci as chief executive and managing director of Air India if the government of India delays its approval of the move, the Times of India reported.

Ayci is due to assume his responsibilities by April 1, 2022, but the appointment of the Turkish national appears to have stalled over his security clearances. Despite Air India now being in private hands, norms still require an airline to obtain the green light from the government for key appointments. Ayci is seen as close to Turkish President Racep Tayyip Erdoğan, considered an ally of India’s eternal foe Pakistan, according to the newspaper.

A source told the newspaper that the group is now considering a number of other options, including the appointment of a chief operating officer, if there is a continued delay in Ayci’s security clearance, but “there is still some time. Tata Sons is watching the situation.”