MIAMI — Bombardier has just announced a breaking order for 50 of its high-density Q400 turboprop aircraft from Indian carrier, SpiceJet. The deal is valued up to US $1.7 billion.
According to the Canadian manufacturer, the purchase agreement includes 25 Q400s with purchase rights for 25 additional aircraft, all of which will be fitted with 90 seats—instead of the 78 seat layout that the existing Q400s are equipped with.
These turboprops will join a fleet of 20 Q400s and 34 Boeing 737-700/800/900 airliners. SpiceJet’s fleet averages 7.5 years of age.
The Indian airline has taken delivery of 15 brand-new Q400s since 2011, with the first one being delivered in August of that year.
“We are very proud to firm up this agreement with SpiceJet as it is another demonstration of the Q400’s unique versatility,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
“This repeat order will not only increase the Q400 aircraft fleet in the fast-growing regional market in India and in the Asia-Pacific region but will also launch the high-density 90-passenger model,” he said.
SpiceJet has become an important player in the Indian market, and will now be able to provide more seats on highly demanded short-haul routes within the country. The airline intends to open up new routes to small towns, which according to the airline, are currently underserved.
“I am sure this fresh order will help us further enhance connectivity to smaller towns and cities and help realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ensuring that every Indian can fly,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.
The Indian carrier operates almost 400 flights each day to over 43 cities within the country plus seven international destinations.
SpiceJet and the Boeing 737MAX
Back in June, SpiceJet also became the largest customer for the 737 MAX 10, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 40 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets.
The order consists of 20 new MAX 10 and 20 conversions from the carrier’s existing order book of 205 737 MAX 8s. It is worth $4.7 billion at the current list price of the 737 MAX 10 (~$118 million).
With this 175 Boeing 737 MAX order, SpiceJet is now (at least temporarily) the third largest 737 MAX customer in the world, behind fellow Asian ULCC Lion Air and Southwest Airlines in the United States. SpiceJet also has 50 purchase options for MAX planes.
The first MAX 8 is expected to be delivered in 2018.
Fresh Air for Bombardier
The largest order for the Bombardier Q400 program comes in just handy, as the manufacturer continues to battle against the US Department of Commerce’s 219% tariff that they intend to put on the sale of Bombardier’s flagship CSeries jet to US giant Delta Air Lines.
Today, the Q400 program has recorded firm orders for a total of 610 Q400 aircraft, becoming the most popular turboprop in history.