Toronto: In a major deal for the burgeoning Indian aviation market, Bombardier Thursday won a USD 446-million order from SpiceJet airline for 15 turboprop aircraft.
Though the Canadian company has sold regional jets to Indian companies, it is the first time that it has won an order for Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft.
Compared to big aircraft which use a jet engine to fuel them, turboprops use a gas turbine. Optimized for short-haul operations, these 70 to 80 seaters are fast, quiet and fuel efficient.
In a statement, the Montreal-based Bombardier said that SpiceJet has placed a firm order for 15 Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners and has taken options on an additional 15 airliners.
The SpiceJet order is valued at USD 446 million, and could increase to USD 915 million if all 15 options are converted to firm orders, Bombardier said.
“This is a very important order for us as it establishes the Q400 NextGen airliner in India,” Gary R. Scott, president for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said in the statement.
He said, “We expect India to take delivery of 600 commercial aircraft in the 20 to 149-seat category over the next 20 years, and we believe our optimized Q400 NextGen turboprop, CRJ Series regional jets and all-new CSeries aircraft are ideally suited to capture a sizeable portion of those deliveries.
“At this time, when new airports are being commissioned by the Indian government, Bombardier is uniquely positioned to support the development of India’s airline network.”
Kalanithi Maran, chairman of the SpiceJet board of directors, said, “After an evaluation of all the aircraft in the 60- to 80-seat category, we have selected the Q400 NextGen airliner, which combines excellent reliability, economics and passenger comfort.”
He said, “India is witnessing substantial growth, and predominant growth is expected from cities and industrial towns which remain under served.
“As India’s most preferred low-fare airline, we are focused on catering to these markets which require an aircraft that could increase the reach to over 60 airports that could not be served by the larger jets and establishing our footprint in these markets.”
SpiceJet currently operates to 22 destinations in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.