India's SpiceJet Buying Up To 205 Boeing Planes
CHICAGO (dpa-AFX) - Indian budget airline SpiceJet plans to buy up to 205 next-generation Boeing Co.
(BA) aircraft as the carrier seeks to expand in the world's fastest growing aviation market. The deal is valued at $22 billion, based on list prices.
According to a joint statement by Boeing and SpiceJet on Friday, the aircraft were booked at the end of 2016.
It includes 100 new 737 MAX 8 aircraft, SpiceJet's current order for 42 MAXs, 13 additional 737 MAXs that were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website, as well as purchase rights for 50 additional airplanes.
The deal provides a boost to Boeing in India as its rival Airbus has orders for more than 500 aircraft from SpiceJet's peers, IndiGo and GoAir.
SpiceJet, an all-Boeing jet operator, placed its first order with Boeing in 2005 for Next-Generation or NG 737s and currently operates 32 737 NGs in its fleet. The carrier is India's fourth-largest airline behind IndiGo, Jet Airways and state-run Air India.
India is the world's fastest growing aviation market, with the number of Indian passengers rising by more than 20 percent annually amid low prices and rising income.
Ray Conner, vice chairman of Boeing Co. said, "We are honored to build upon more than a decade of partnership with SpiceJet with their commitment of up to 205 airplanes. The economics of the 737 MAXs will allow SpiceJet to profitably open new markets, expand connectively within India and beyond, and offer their customers a superior passenger experience."
The 737 MAX is the fourth generation of the 737 family and incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other modifications to deliver the highest efficiency and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
According to Boeing, the new airplane will deliver 20 percent lower fuel use than the first Next-Generation 737s and also has the lowest operating costs in its class.
SpiceJet operates 336 average daily flights to 45 destinations, including 39 domestic and 6 international ones.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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