Indian budget carrier SpiceJet said on Friday it had agreed to buy 100 new MAX 737 aircraft from Boeing, with an option for 50 more, ramping up its fleet as it targets expansion in the world's fastest growing aviation market.
SpiceJet said it had signed a deal for buying up to 205 planes from Boeing — worth up to $22 billion at list prices - but the announcement includes 55 jets already announced in a 2014 deal and the possible follow-on order of 50 more.
"As part of this transaction have they (Boeing) not only been kind enough to give us good commercial terms but have worked hard to reduce the maintenance cost of the aircraft going forward," Ajay Singh, SpiceJet's chairman, told a news conference in New Delhi.
A source told Reuters on Thursday that SpiceJet was set to announce an order for as many as 100 new planes.
Singh said the purchase rights include an option to buy wide-body aircraft for long haul journeys as the airline considers launching low-cost flights over long distances.
The deal is a welcome boost for Boeing in India, where SpiceJet is the US company’s only major customer among the budget carriers now dominating the country's air industry.
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.
SpiceJet has about 13 percent of the Indian air passenger market, behind market leader IndiGo, Jet Airways and state-run Air India.