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Despite last week’s downgrade of India’s air travel industry by the U.S. FAA, Indian airlines have not been daunted. The apparent hope is that this will be corrected quickly and everything will go back to normal. Considering the work that needs to be done, we think that’s slightly optimistic.
SpiceJet Ltd., the Indian budget airline controlled by billionaire Kalanithi Maran, is poised to order 38 Boeing Co. 737 Max jets valued at $3.9 billion, people familiar with the plan said.
The deal consists of 30 new orders and swapping an existing purchase of eight 737 NG jets for the upgraded Max model, said the people who asked not to be identified as discussions are private. The order may be announced as early as next week at the Singapore Air Show, two people said.
Buying new planes will help the carrier take on market leader IndiGo and impending competition from AirAsia Bhd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd., both of which have sought licenses to start local airlines in India. Economic growth across Asia- Pacific in the past decade has spurred a travel boom in the region that Boeing and its European rival Airbus Group NV are counting on for sales of new aircraft.
Doug Alder, a Boeing spokesman, declined to comment. S.L. Narayanan, chief financial officer at SpiceJet’s parent Sun Group, didn’t respond to two calls and a text message to his mobile phone today.
Editors: Anand Krishnamoorthy, Vipin V. Nair. To contact the reporters on this story: Anurag Kotoky in New Delhi at email@example.com; Julie Johnsson in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at email@example.com.