SpiceJet has continued its recovery with the placement of a major order for 40 new Boeing aircraft.
The deal, which was confirmed at this week’s Paris Air Show and is valued at US$4.7 billion, is for the new 737 MAX 10 aircraft. Twenty of the aircraft are brand new orders while the other 20 are converted from a previous deal for the 737 MAX 8.
The newly-launched 737 MAX 10 can seat a maximum of 230 passengers in a single-class layout, according to Boeing.
“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,” said Ajay Singh, chairman & managing director of SpiceJet. “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.”
SpiceJet currently operates a fleet of 35 737s and 20 Bombardier Q400s. But the carrier plans to expand its fleet to 200 aircraft by the end of the decade, including the introduction of its first 737 MAX aircraft in 2018.
“SpiceJet continues to be an aviation leader and strong Boeing partner, and we are honoured to have them join 737 MAX 10 launch group,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister. “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.”
Profitability has been a problem for SpiceJet in the past; the Delhi-based LCC was forced to ground part of its fleet in late 2014, before recovering strongly.