Low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Wednesday signed a $4.4 billion (Rs 26,000 crore) deal with Boeing for purchasing 42 737 Max 8s aircraft.
The deal announced at the India Aviation show is the biggest ever announced at any aviation event in the country.
The Boeing 737 Max claims to have better fuel efficiency, less noise and comfort for the passengers and lesser operating cost, which translates into slightly cheaper airfares.
"The induction of Boeing 737 MAX will further modernise our fleet, improve customer experience, and ensure that we operate the most efficient fleet well into the future," said S L Narayanan, group CFO for The Sun Group, which owns the airline.
"The order is a tremendous endorsement of the 737 MAX's unsurpassed fuel efficiency," said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president of Asia Pacific and India sales, Boeing.
Boeing representative Keskar said the order was a tremendous endorsement of the 737 MAX's unsurpassed fuel efficiency and the capabilities of the aircraft would support SpiceJet's mission to become India's preferred low-cost airline.
Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. The 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,800 orders to date.
With today's announcement, SpiceJet has ordered 90 airplanes directly from Boeing, which includes the 737-800, 737-900ER and now the 737 MAX. Till date, SpiceJet has taken delivery of 31 of the airplanes.
The airline is under tremendous pressure to compete and improve its balance sheet, as it has been seeing negative growth in past few quarters. The airline, which is promoted by media baron Kalanithi Maran, recently made changes in the top management for a turnaround. The airline management which has been bleeding heavily like other airlines in India, had claimed in recent past of interest shown in it by foreign airlines, but nothing has come out of it so far. In order to push sales, the airlines has in the past couple of months offering heavy discounts in the form of flash sales.
SpiceJet shares rose 3.32% on Wednesday on news of the deal.