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BREAKING NEWS

India's SpiceJet orders 100 more aircraft from Boeing

Indian budget airline SpiceJet says it has ordered an additional 100 MAX 737 planes from Boeing, with an option for 50 more.

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India's SpiceJet orders 100 more aircraft from Boeing

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Indian budget airline SpiceJet says it has ordered an additional 100 planes from Boeing, with an option for 50 more.

The aircraft are Boeing’s new MAX 737.

The deal is a welcome boost for Boeing in India, where SpiceJet is the US company’s only major customer among the low-cost airlines that now dominate the country’s air industry.

Asia, especially India, is a key market for planemakers.

Analysts expect passenger numbers to more than triple in Indian over the next 20 years as millions more people become wealthy enough to fly for the first time.

Enhanced ability

SpiceJet said altogether it has signed a deal to acquire up to 205 planes from Boeing, worth up to $22 billion at list prices, but that total includes 55 jets already announced in a 2014 deal and the possible follow-on order of 50 more.

“This is an extremely competitive market,” Ajay Singh, SpiceJet’s chairman, told a news conference in New Delhi.

“What this aircraft order does is enhance our ability to be competitive in the future as it helps us reduce costs,” said Singh, whose airline has about 13 percent of the Indian passenger market, while market leader IndiGo has 40 percent.

SpiceJet, which was briefly forced to ground its fleet in late 2014 when it ran out of cash, is the fourth-largest Indian airline behind InterGlobe Aviation’s IndiGo, Jet Airways and state-run Air India.