Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet on Tuesday said that it has entered into an agreement with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft for purchase of up to 50 Q400 turboprop planes.
The airline has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Bombardier at the International Paris Air Show for up to 50 Q400 turboprop airliners. The LOI includes 25 Q400 turboprops and purchase rights on an additional 25 aircraft.
Based on the Q400 turboprop list price, an order could be valued at up to $1.7B billion. This would be the single biggest order for the Q400.
"I am delighted to announce this new order for 50 Q400 planes. SpiceJet operates India's largest regional fleet and is the only organized operator in this space. This order will help us further increase connectivity to smaller towns and cities and help realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of ensuring that every Indian can fly," said SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh.
"Our passengers will be able to fly to more cities and help expand India's already booming aviation market."
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer said: "When finalised, the repeat order will increase the Q400 aircraft fleet in the fast-growing market in the Asia-Pacific region and will launch the high-density 86-passenger model of the Q400 aircraft in India.
"This is also compelling evidence that the demand for turboprop aircraft is healthy in short-to medium-haul markets that can't economically support jets that are more expensive to operate."
SpiceJet operates a fleet of 35 Next-Generation 737s and 20 Bombardier Q400s. Since 2010, it has taken delivery of 15 Q400 aircraft. The airline currently operates 20 Q400 aircraft in a 78-seat configuration to domestic and international destinations. When concluded, this fleet expansion will provide SpiceJet the ability to grow profitably and leverage the robust demand forecast in the world's fastest growing regional aviation market.
Bombardier's Q Series turboprops and CRJ Series regional jets have made significant advances in the Asia-Pacific region where approximately 190 aircraft - including more than 165 Q Series turboprops -- are in service with or on order by over 25 customers and operators. Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 585 Q400 aircraft.