India’s Jet Airways has doubled its order for the Boeing 737 MAX and now plans to take 150 of the fuel-efficient planes to power future growth.
The Indian carrier announced a second order for 75 of the new 737s Wednesday, adding to a previous deal for 75 planes brokered in 2015 as part of a strategy to refresh its fleet.
Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube said the order underscored the airline’s commitment to the growth and sustainability of the Indian aviation market.
“Our new order for the additional 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will allow us to deliver a differentiated and world class customer experience to our guests,” Dube said in the announcement. “This additional order reemphasizes our trust and confidence in Boeing and also reaffirms our commitment to operate extremely modern, reliable and fuel-efficient aircraft as part of our fleet.’’
The Indian carrier is due to take delivery of its first B737 MAX, equipped with the CFM International LEAP-1B engines, later this year.
Jet Airways operates flights to 65 destinations within India and to key overseas destinations in South East Asia, South Asia, the Middle east, Europe and North America.
It currently operates a fleet of 120 aircraft that includes Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 737 NGs, Airbus A330s and ATR 72s.
It has been expanding its network and last year announced a deal with Singapore-based Jetstar Asia that allowed it to put is code on 11 destinations served from the Qantas joint venture’s Singapore base.
These were: Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand; Perth and Darwin in Australia: Jakarta, Denpasar Bali and Surabaya in Indonesia; Ho-Chi-Minh City in Vietnam; and Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The Boeing deal comes as the Indian government is seeking a buyer for a majority stake in loss-making flag carrier Air India.
The deal will include Air India, wholly-owned subsidiary Air India Express and a 50 percent stake in ground handler Air India SATS Airport Services.