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SpiceJet eyes Airbus for fleet expansion

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Thu, Aug 29, 2013 21:01 hrs
India's SpiceJet aircraft prepares for landing at the airport in Mumbai

SpiceJet is in talks with Airbus to acquire A320neo narrow-body aircraft. Currently, the low-cost airline operates a fleet of 55 Boeing 737s and Bombardier Q400 turbo prop planes. S L Narayanan, chief financial officer of the Sun Group, which runs the airline, is in London along with company officials to negotiate a deal for the A320 planes, according to a source privy to the development.



Another source said SpiceJet planned to add 20-22 Boeing 737s through the next two-three years, adding it could also add 15 Bombardier planes to its fleet. A SpiceJet spokesperson confirmed Narayanan was in London. "It is indeed true Narayanan is in London. But the purpose of his visit is to attend to other matters.

Any suggestion that he is negotiating for the purchase of 50 Airbus aircraft is incorrect," the airline said.
Airbus did not respond to an email query on the issue.

In a recent report, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) said SpiceJet was developing a fleet plan for the period beyond 2017 and was likely to finalise an order for 50 A320s and A320neos by next month.


The report added the airline might announce plans to transition to an all-Airbus narrow-body fleet.

"Switching manufacturers would be a major strategic decision and one that would introduce significant operational challenges that would place great pressure on management capabilities in the short term. As a result of the move to Airbus narrow bodies, we do not rule out the possibility of SpiceJet transitioning to ATRs in the medium term for its regional fleet, which currently consists of 15 Q400s," Capa said in the report."Switching manufacturers would be a major strategic decision and one that would introduce significant operational challenges that would place great pressure on management capabilities in the short term. As a result of the move to Airbus narrow bodies, we do not rule out the possibility of SpiceJet transitioning to ATRs in the medium term for its regional fleet, which currently consists of 15 Q400s," Capa said in the report.

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