India’s SpiceJet is weighing an order for at least 100 Airbus SE planes as Boeing Co. grapples with the fallout over its grounded 737 Max. The budget carrier, a major global customer for the Max, may buy a “sizable” number of Airbus A321LR and XLR jets to accommodate a planned expansion, SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh said Tuesday. No decision has been made, he said, and the airline would consider a competing mid-range jetliner if Boeing decides to build one.
Airbus has “pushed us hard since the day we started flying Boeing aircraft, and of course with the current problems, they’ve pushed us harder,” Singh said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “They have made us a commercial offer and we are evaluating it.”
The discussions with Airbus threaten Boeing with a high-profile defection at a time when the U.S. planemaker is enmeshed in one of the biggest crises in its 103-year history. SpiceJet, India’s second-largest airline, has 13 Max jets already in its fleet and has committed to buy as many as 205 of the single-aisle workhorses as it expands capacity to handle the nation’s fast-growing demand for air travel.
While Singh didn’t specify the exact size of a potential transaction, he said “any aircraft order that SpiceJet places would at least be 100 aircraft.” That would value the deal in excess of $13 billion, based on 2018 list prices before customary discounts for the A321neo. The LR and XLR variants are longer-range variants of the plane.
Article Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com