India’s SpiceJet to buy 205 Boeing jets in $22bn deal

For Chicago-based Boeing, it marks the widening of its footprint in the South Asian country, where its European rival dominates narrow-body fleets.But Boeing beat Airbus on deliveries previous year: 748 vs. 688.Indian airline SpiceJet has signed a deal to purchase up to 205 airplanes from USA manufacturer Boeing, the company announced Friday.”The Boeing 737 class of aircraft has been the backbone of our fleet since SpiceJet began, with its high reliability, low operation economies and comfort”, said Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet. That followed a 2006 deal for 100 A320 planes and 180 A320neos in 2011.Ray Conner, a top Boeing official, said the economics of the 737 MAXs would allow SpiceJet to profitably open new markets, expand connectively within India and beyond. SpiceJet has about 13 percent of market share in the Indian aviation passenger market while market leader IndiGo has 40 percent. The number of passengers grew 20 percent past year, and airlines are announcing flights to new destinations in the country nearly every week.Indian airlines such as the biggest, InterGlobe Aviation’s IndiGo, as well as GoAir and SpiceJet have ordered hundreds of new planes as they rush to win a slice of the boom in demand for air travel. The deal includes SpiceJet securing the right to 50 more planes in the future.Boeing had already reported an order for 100 737 MAX jets from an unidentified customer that counted as part of its 2016 tally, and on Friday confirmed that order to be SpiceJet’s.”With this, the total order of 205 aircraft is valued at 22 billion list prices”, SpiceJet said in an emailed statement.The new aircraft increases the range of SpiceJet’s flights by up to one hour, opening up many more destinations, including worldwide ones.