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SpiceJet places order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 10 planes

Order is for 20 new 737 MAX 10 planes and conversion of 20 of SpiceJet's 737 MAX 8 aircraft

Arindam Majumder  |  New Delhi 

If the order is finalised, SpiceJet will also become the launch customer for the newest version of aircraft

will buy 20 10 while converting 20 of their existing 8 order to 10, as it looks to carry more passengers between Indian metros where airports remain congested.
has launched the 10 as a bigger version of the 9 with increased seating of 230 in a single class configuration. The airline currently operates 35 737-800 and 737-900 Next generation planes which have a seating capacity of 212 and 189, respectively.
 If the order is finalised, will also become the launch customer for the newest version of aircraft.
“The agreement, valued at approximately $4.74 billion at current list prices, is split evenly between 20 new orders for the 10 and conversions of 20 of the low-cost carrier’s 8 planes of its current order to 10s. The order will be posted to the Orders & Deliveries website once finalised,” the airline said in a statement.

In January, had agreed to buy 100 new with an option of converting 50 into widebody version like the 787 Dreamliner. plans to launch low-cost long-haul service between Delhi- Birmingham from coming winter schedule.
Indian airlines looking to take advantage of the growing traffic are increasingly deploying bigger planes among large metros. SpiceJet’s low-cost rival IndiGo has decided to convert its 430 A320 neo order to 20 and is looking for more. The A320neo accommodates as many as 189 passengers, while the A321neo carries as many as 240.
“The newest version of the 737, which will enable us to maximise revenue on our dense routes while having a lower unit seat cost,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, “With the introduction of our 737 MAXs next year, we will be able to further expand our network, while keeping our costs low for our customers.”
Full-service carrier Jet Airways and Air India have deployed widebody aircraft like 777s, Dreamliner 787s, and Airbus A330s to cope with higher traffic and slot constraints at some airports that limit the number of flights. Jet Airways now connects all four major Indian airports with the A330 planes which have 254 seats, including 18 business class seats.
Major Indian airports are on the verge of saturation and are unable to provide new slots to airlines. While Mumbai airport is not issuing any new slots; at Delhi airport, airlines are not getting slots during peak hours. The airport’s Terminal 1, used by low-cost airlines, has reached its annual capacity of 18 million passengers a year and is choked during peak hours.

The Bengaluru airport, built to handle 20 million passengers a year, serviced nearly 19 million in 2015. Hyderabad airport, built for 12 million passengers a year, has already reached capacity. “It makes sense for airlines to deploy bigger planes thus utilising existing slots to carry more passengers,” a senior Jet Airways official said.

First Published: Tue, June 20 2017. 01:17 IST