NEW DELHI: American airline manufacturing giant Boeing has said it has clinched a binding, firm order for 75 of its 737 MAX aircraft from Jet Airways. This would make it the second order of this size for the aircraft that Jet has placed in as many years.
The deal was estimated to cost Jet Airways between $7.2 billion and $9.7 billion, based on which variant of the 737 MAX that Jet has chosen to purchase, news agency Reuters reported. Unconfirmed reports and indications suggest the most recent order of 75 aircraft are for the 737 MAX 8 variant.
The Indian carrier's feet heavily relies on Boeing jets, with 60 percent being just 737-800 aircraft. SpiceJet too has placed a huge order of around 120 737 MAX aircraft. Both the Indian airliners are waiting for their first deliveries.
The 737 MAX is a redesigned version of Boeing's immensely popular 737 platform. It is a twin-jet narrow-body that could seat between 130 and 230 passengers, based on the variant. Boeing has been taking orders for the aircraft from late 2011. It has received about 4400 orders so far, with an estimated 86 deliveries.
Jet Airways Chief Executive Vinay Dube had told reporters last month that the airline hoped to finalise the deal with Boeing by the end of March. Shares of Jet Airways, which rose as much as 3.2 percent in Wednesday morning trade, and closed 1.5 percent lower, in line with the wider trend.
Boeing had said last year that it expects Indian airlines to order up to 2,100 aircraft worth $290 billion over the next 20 years, calling it the highest-ever forecast for Asia's third-largest economy.
Domestic passenger traffic increased 17.9 percent in January from a year earlier for the 41st consecutive month of double-digit growth, according to data from the International Air Transport Association.
(With inputs from Reuters)