Jet Airways India is in talks to buy 50 narrow-bodied jets worth at least $5.6 billion on top of a pending order for Boeing 737 Max aircraft, a source said. The airline is also looking at Airbus SE's A321neo jets as well as the 737 Max 10, a stretched version Boeing may introduce in Paris this month, the source added. Jet Airways could sign the deal in the next two months for deliveries starting 2024.
Jet Airways continuously reviews its fleet in response to demand, but won't comment on speculation, a spokesman said. A representative for Boeing said the plane maker is in constant communications with airlines in India about their needs but doesn't discuss specific conversations publicly. An Airbus spokesman also declined to comment.
Jet Airways, in which Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways PJSC owns a 24 per cent stake, is expanding its fleet as competition intensifies in India, one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets, where carriers offer cut-throat, below-cost fares to attract passengers. The Indian carrier made its first annual profit in seven years in the 12 months ended March 2016, mainly due to a drop in oil prices - the biggest cost for an airline.
Airlines in Asia are ordering hundreds of new planes to meet surging demand as an emerging middle class spends more of its disposable income on air travel. In India, market leader IndiGo has ordered 430 A320neo jets and is in talks to buy 50 ATR turboprop aircraft, while budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd. has ordered as many as 205 Boeing jets.