SpiceJet evaluating deal for 100 Airbus jets in wake of MAX troubles

SpiceJet evaluating deal for 100 Airbus jets in wake of MAX troubles
Published: 1 October 2019 - 7:41 a.m.

SpiceJet, which is India’s largest 737 MAX customer, is considering a deal for “at least” 100 Airbus aircraft following the grounding of Boeing’s jet in March.

India’s budget airline could place an order for Airbus A321LRs and XLRs to support its growth plans, SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh told Bloomberg this week.

According to the report, the company has not made any decisions and is keeping its options open, with Mr Singh explaining that SpiceJet would look at a competing midrange plane if Boeing introduced one.

In the interview, Mr Singh said that Airbus had made SpiceJet and offer and has been ‘pushing the company hard’ since Boeing’s 737 MAX woes began.

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Two crashes earlier this year that killed 346 people resulted in Boeing’s MAX being grounded.

SpiceJet has committed to purchasing 205 MAX planes but Mr Singh noted that an order for Airbus jets would consist of “at least 100 aircraft”.

It is estimated that such a deal would be worth around $10 billion.

However, SpiceJet’s current infrastructure is geared towards a Boeing fleet, which Mr Singh admits is a headache for the carrier.

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According to the report, SpiceJet expects to begin flying MAX planes again in January 2020.

Mr Singh told Bloomberg: “We look forward to the Max aircraft coming back because that’s where the biggest pain point for SpiceJet is currently.”

He added: “You need to keep evaluating, and we are evaluating the Airbus options.”

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