In a bid to choose between Boeing Co and Airbus Group, Indian budget carrier SpiceJet has laid the time-line of deliveries as the condition for buying airplanes in a deal worth Rs 75,000 crore.
SpiceJet and Air India Express are the only budget carriers that fly Boeings in India. Other airlines such as IndiGo and Jet Airways fly Airbus jets. On Jan. 22, shares of InterGlobe Aviation, which owns IndiGo, fell 19% after it said Airbus was unable stick to the schedule of delivering A320neo aircraft.
On the other hand, Gulf airliner Qatar Airways refused to take deliveries of Airbus A320neo planes because its engine needed special measures to start, Bloomberg reported.
"One of the selling points for anybody to make the offer more attractive to SpiceJet would be early deliveries. When Airbus and Boeing are talking to us, they are mindful of the fact that we need early deliveries," Ajay Singh, Chairman of SpiceJet, was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The chairman was open to switching over to Airbus if the terms and conditions were better. Switching from one aircraft type to the other is easier when the fleet size is small. "It is tougher to change when you are at 50 or 100 planes. It is much easier to do it at 20-25 planes," he said.
He further said: "I don't want to have a situation where I do the deal wrong. We are in a competitive space. We need to ensure that we are not in a situation that our deliveries are delayed. We need to make sure that we get planes which are more fuel efficient, sooner rather than later."
At present, SpiceJet currently operates 28 narrow-body jets, of which 26 are Boeing 737 jets and two are Airbus A320 aircraft. According to estimates, a single Airbus A320neo costs $107.3 million, while a Boeing 737 costs $116.6 million, Bloomberg reports.