New Delhi: SpiceJet, Indian budget airline, has agreed to acquire 100 new MAX 737 aircraft from Boeing, with an option for 50 more, as part of its expansion plans in the world's fastest growing aviation market.
"This is an extremely competitive market," Ajay Singh, SpiceJet's chairman, told a news conference in New Delhi.
"Singh said that what this aircraft order does is enhance our ability to be competitive in the future as it helps us reduce costs, the airline has about 13 percent of the Indian passenger market, while market leader IndiGo has 40 percent.
It may be recalled that SpiceJet, which was briefly forced to ground its fleet in late 2014 when it ran out of cash, is the fourth-largest Indian airline behind InterGlobe Aviation's IndiGo, Jet Airways and state-run Air India.
SpiceJet said altogether it has signed a deal to acquire up to 205 planes from Boeing, worth up to $22 billion at list prices, but that total includes 55 jets already announced in a 2014 deal and the possible follow-on order of 50 more.
A source familiar with the deal had said on that SpiceJet was set to announce an order for as many as 100 new planes.
SpiceJet, which has a current fleet of more than 40 planes, will take delivery of the first of its new jets in the third quarter of 2018, Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific & India Sales at Boeing, told reporters.