Budget carrier SpiceJet today signed an initial pact with the US aircraft maker Boeing Co for 40 737 MAX planes. A Memorandum Understanding (MoU), valued at USD 4.7 billion at current list prices, was signed at the Paris Air Show, which commenced today. The agreement is split evenly between 20 new orders for the 737 MAX 10 and conversions of 20 737 MAX 8 airplanes from the airline’s existing order to 737 MAX 10s, according to a release. “As a Boeing 737 operator and current customer of the 737 MAX, we are proud to be a part of the launch of the 737 MAX 10 and to be the first airline in India to order the newest version of the 737, which will enable us to maximise revenue on our dense routes while having a lower unit seat cost,” SpiceJet Chairman and managing Director Ajay Singh said in a release.
“With the introduction of our 737 MAXs next year, we will be able to further expand our network, while keeping our costs low for our customers,” Singh said. The Gurgaon-based no-frills airline had earlier this year announced that it will purchase up to 205 new aircraft (including 55 from the 2014 order) from Boeing with the order valued at USD 22 billion. SpiceJet currently has a fleet of 55 planes, comprising 35 Boeing B 737s 20 Bombardier Q400s. “SpiceJet continues to be an aviation leader and strong Boeing partner, and we are honoured to have them join 737 MAX 10 launch group,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin McAllister said.
“The additional 20 737 MAX 8s and capacity provided by these 20 new 737 MAX 10s will allow SpiceJet to offer even more passengers their award-winning on-board experience, while the airplane’s efficiency will keep SpiceJet profitable,” he said. The budget carrier had in 2014 placed an order for 55 737 MAX jets with Boeing.
With the earlier order for 55 planes and additional 100 new 737-8 MAX aircraft, the no-frills carrier firmed up order for a total of 155 planes along with the rights to purchase 50 more aircraft comprising B737-8 MAX and wide- bodied ones, taking the total number of planes to 205. SpiceJet is scheduled to take the delivery of its first 737 MAX in 2018. The carrier plans to grow its operational fleet to 200 planes by the end of the decade and looks to expand regionally with the new 737 MAX family of aircraft, the release added.