Jet Airways India Ltd. will place an order for as many as 100 narrow-body aircraft by the end of March, becoming the latest South Asian carrier to unveil aggressive expansion plans in the world’s fastest-growing major aviation market. Shares fell. The carrier is in talks with planemakers to buy 75 to 100 single-aisle jets in the current fiscal year, Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube said at a briefing in the southern Indian city of Chennai, declining to give more details. Jet Airways was in talks to buy 50 single-aisle jets — either the biggest version of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max or Airbus SE’s A321neo — a person with direct knowledge of the plan said earlier this year. The order would be valued at as much as $12.5 billion based on list prices for 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 jets, before discounts that are customary for large aircraft purchases. Jet Airways — in which Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways PJSC holds a minority stake — currently flies an all-Boeing narrow-body fleet and already has an order for the Max 8, the most popular of the planemaker’s revamped 737 models.
Carriers in India have ordered hundreds of planes in recent months as demand skyrockets in the nation, fueled by an emerging middle class flying for the first time. Market leader IndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., is the biggest customer for Airbus SE’s A320neo jets, while SpiceJet Ltd. has ordered more than 200 narrow-body aircraft from Boeing.
Jet Airways fell 2.2 percent to 481.35 rupees in Mumbai, the biggest slide in a week. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index dropped 0.3 percent.