SpiceJet to buy 15 turboprop aircraft from Bombardier

The no-frills carrier has placed firm orders with the Canadian aircraft manufacturer to buy 15 turboprop aircraft worth $446 million and placed 15 more on option.

No-frills carrier SpiceJet has placed firm orders with Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier to buy 15 turboprop aircraft worth $446 million and placed 15 more on option.

Based on the list price, the firm order is valued at approximately $446 million and could increase to about $915 million if all 15 options are converted to firm order, a Bombardier Aerospace statement said.

It said SpiceJet has placed a firm order for 15 Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners and has taken options on an 15 additional planes.

Noting India's predominant growth in air travel was expected from cities and industrial towns which remain underserved, SpiceJet Chairman Kalanithi Maran said: "We are focused on catering to these markets which require an aircraft that can increase the reach to over 60 airports which cannot be served by the larger jets."

After evaluating all the aircraft in the 60-80 seat category, Maran said: "We have selected the Q400 NextGen airliner, which combines excellent reliability, economics and passenger comfort."

Describing the order as "very important" as it would establish the Q400 NextGen aircraft in India, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Gary R Scott said: "We expect India to take delivery of 600 commercial aircraft in the 20- to 149-seat category over the next 20 years."

"At this time, when new airports are being commissioned by the Indian government, Bombardier is uniquely positioned to support the development of India's airline network."

With SpiceJet's order, Bombardier has booked firm orders for a total of 404 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft as of October 31. Of this, 322 have been delivered.

Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft are in service with more than 30 operators worldwide, the statement added.