An Indian airline has placed one of the largest aircraft orders in the history of commercial aviation.
Ajay Singh, chairman of Delhi-based SpiceJet, revealed on Friday that he is planning to purchase up to 205 Boeing 737 jets worth US$22 billion.
The deal marks the latest stage in a remarkable turnaround for SpiceJet, which grounded part of its fleet in 2014 due to financial difficulties. Since then however, India’s aviation sector has undergone an unprecedented boom, with two years of double-digit growth in terms of domestic traffic.
SpiceJet currently operates a fleet of 32 737s, but today’s order includes 155 new 737 MAX aircraft, with options for a further 50.
“The Boeing 737 class of aircraft has been the backbone of our fleet since SpiceJet began,” said SpiceJet. “With the next generation of 737 and the 737 MAX we are sure that we can be competitive and grow profitably.”
The order follows the recent conclusion of a 72-aircraft order by rival Indian LCC, GoAir. And another Indian budget carrier, IndiGo, was responsible for the second largest aircraft order ever placed, when it purchased 250 Airbus A320s in 2015.
World’s Biggest Commercial Aircraft Orders:
American Airlines (USA) – 260 Airbus A320s (2011)
IndiGo (India) – 250 Airbus A320s (2015)
Lion Air (Indonesia) – 234 Airbus A320s (2013)
SpiceJet (India) – 205 Boeing 737s (2017)
Lion Air (Indonesia) – 201 Boeing 737s (2011)