Low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Tuesday announced plans to purchase 50 Q400 turboprop aircraft worth $1.7 billion from Bombardier, a day after signing a pact for buying 40 Boeing 737 MAX planes.
SpiceJet has signed a letter of intent with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft for these 86-seater planes, which comprise of 25 Q400 turboprops and purchase rights for an additional 25 aircraft. “Based on the Q400 turboprop list price, the order could be valued at up to $ 1.7 billion. This would be the single biggest order for the Q400,” SpiceJet said. At the current exchange rate, the order will be worth over Rs 10,900 crore. The turboprops will help the airline expand its network in the regional market in India. The initial pact was signed at the ongoing international Paris Air Show.
Shares of SpiceJet closed up 1.65 per cent at Rs 126.60 at the BSE on Tuesday. “I am delighted to announce this new order for 50 Q400 planes… This order will help us further increase connectivity to smaller towns and cities,” SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh said. “Our passengers will be able to fly to more cities and help expand India’s already booming aviation market,” Singh said.
SpiceJet’s latest order will help further take forward the government’s vision to provide air connectivity to the common man, civil aviation secretary R N Choubey said.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said that once finalised, the repeat order will increase the Q400 aircraft fleet in the fast-growing market in the Asia-Pacific region and launch the high-density 86-passenger model of the Q400 aircraft in India. SpiceJet operates a fleet of 35 next generation 737s and 20 Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Since 2010, the airline has taken delivery of 15 Q400 aircraft.
“The airline currently operates 20 Q400 aircraft in a 78-seat configuration to domestic and international destinations. When concluded, this fleet expansion will provide SpiceJet the ability to leverage the robust demand forecast in the world’s fastest growing regional market,” it said. On Monday, SpiceJet had inked an initial pact with Boeing for 40 737 MAX planes worth $ 4.7 billion.
Last month, IndiGo announced plans to purchase a total of 50 ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft, which normally have a seating capacity of 70 people. The airline plans to start regional operations with these planes by year end. IndiGo has signed a term sheet with ATR for purchasing 50 aircraft with the “flexibility to reduce the number of aircraft deliveries based on certain conditions”, it said.