SpiceJet eyes $10 billion deal with Airbus as former favourite Boeing 737 remains grounded

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Updated: Sep 25, 2019 5:19 PM

Budget carrier SpiceJet may sign a deal with Airbus costing the airline over $10 billion as Boeing is yet to emerge out of the woes created by 737 Max grounding.

SPICEJETAjay Singh-founded SpiceJet is the only Indian customer of Boeing MAX aircraft.

Budget carrier SpiceJet may place an order for at least 100 Airbus SE planes which may cost the airline over $10 billion as Boeing is yet to emerge out of the woes created by 737 Max grounding. One of India’s biggest domestic airlines, SpiceJet is a major global buyer of Boeing’s now grounded Max aircraft and is mulling the purchase of a sizable number of Airbus A321LR and XLR jets as the airline looks to ramp up operations, Ajay Singh, Chairman, SpiceJet said on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported. While the airline has not yet decided upon the same, SpiceJet may also consider purchasing a competing midrange jetliner if Boeing decides to come up with one, the report added. 

“Airbus has pushed us hard since the day we started flying Boeing aircraft, and of course with the current problems, they’ve pushed us harder,” Bloomberg quoted Ajay Singh as saying at the news agency’s headquarters in New York. Ajay Singh admitted that the European plane supplier has made an offer and SpiceJet is evaluating it. 

The American planemaker Boeing 737 has been embroiled in one of the biggest crises in its over century-old history. Following the Ethiopian plane crash tragedy in March 2019 which killed 346 people, the faulty Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was grounded worldwide over concerns regarding safety issues. 

Boeing 737 was expected to come out of its exile by November 2019, according to CNBC TV-18 report. According to the report, Boeing had informed SpiceJet that the defunct plane model MAX will be fit to fly by November this year as the world’s largest aerospace company Boeing continues to fix MAX’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). However, the timeline for the plane’s comeback still remains blurry as regulators around the world conduct independent assessments of its safety.

Ajay Singh-founded SpiceJet is the only Indian customer of Boeing MAX aircraft and has a pending order of 205 planes. SpiceJet currently has 13 MAX jets in its fleet. “We look forward to the Max aircraft coming back because that’s where the biggest pain point for SpiceJet is currently,” Bloomberg reported him as saying. 

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