India's SpiceJet in talks with Boeing, Airbus for $11 billion jet deal

Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:41am EDT
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By Tommy Wilkes

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian budget airline SpiceJet Ltd (SPJT.BO: Quote) is in talks with Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) and Airbus Group (AIR.PA: Quote) to acquire about 100 new narrow-body jets, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday, in a deal that would be worth about $11 billion at list prices.

SpiceJet wants to buy more Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 Max aircraft, Kiran Koteshwar told Reuters, as it looks to rebuild its business after almost collapsing last year.

Koteshwar said the company plans to place an order, which would be its biggest ever, by the end of this financial year and would look to raise fresh equity or debt to pay for the planes once it had decided how many to buy.

"We have to place an order so we have a long-term business plan in place. The focus is now on sizeable growth," he said.

There is no guarantee the talks will lead to a firm order.

SpiceJet's expansion plans come after India's second-largest low-cost carrier almost collapsed, before being bailed out by new chairman Ajay Singh in January.

SpiceJet has less than 20 Boeing narrow-body jets, while its market share has shrunk to 12 percent in June from around 20 percent a year ago after it cut capacity to stay in business.

India's airlines are expanding their fleets as they compete to win a bigger slice of what is one of world's fasting growing markets for air travel but one where most players are plagued by losses as the fight for passengers pushes ticket prices below costs.   Continued...

A man looks out through a window with an advertisement of SpiceJet Airline, on a commercial building in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad February 14, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files