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Indian Budget Carrier Spicejet Expands Boeing Fleet

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

13 March 2014

Boeing has secured an order for 42 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Indian budget carrier SpiceJet at the Indian Aviation 2014 event, in a deal worth USD4.4bn at list prices.

"SpiceJet greatly values the ties we have built over the years with Boeing. The Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, the mainstay of the fleet ever since SpiceJet started operations, have vindicated our choice by their endurance, reliability and cost effectiveness," said S.L. Narayanan, Group CFO for The Sun Group, SpiceJet's parent. "The induction of Boeing 737 MAX will further modernize our fleet, improve customer experience, and ensure that we operate the most efficient fleet well into the future."

Boeing explained that its 737 MAX builds upon the Next-Generation 737 – the world's best selling airplane – with new technologies developed since its inception. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to boost efficiency, reliability, and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market, it said.

"The order is a tremendous endorsement of the 737 MAX's unsurpassed fuel efficiency," said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The capabilities of the 737 MAX supports SpiceJet's mission to become India's preferred low-cost airline. We are very proud to be partners with SpiceJet, and a part of the airline's continued success with the addition of the 737 MAX."

Boeing said development of the 737 MAX is on schedule, with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. A first flight is scheduled in 2016, with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. The 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,800 orders to date, and will have an eight percent lower per-seat operating cost than the future competition, Boeing projects.

With the latest order, SpiceJet has ordered a total of 90 airplanes from Boeing, which include the 737-800, 737-900ER, and now the 737 MAX. Since the airline was launched in 2005, SpiceJet has taken delivery of 31 Boeing airplanes.

TAGS: India | aviation

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