SpiceJet plans aircraft buy for intl routes

Media baron Kalanithi Maran-owned low-cost carrier SpiceJet plans to place an order of new narrow-body aircraft from either US jet maker Boeing or European rival Airbus as it expands aggressively on international and domestic routes.

"The number of planes would depend upon the kind of deal that the manufacturer would offer," Neil Mills, CEO of the airline, said at the sidelines of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India Aviation Summit 2012.

Last week, CAPA said in a report that SpiceJet would purchase 30-40 Boeing 737 MAX planes. However, Mills rubbished the reports. "The reports are based on a foregone conclusion that because we are a Boeing operator we will stick to Boeing. But I have seen a transition from Boeing to Airbus when I was with 'easyjet' and I can do it again," he said.

Currently out of a fleet of 48 planes, 36 are Boeing 737s and 12 are Bombardier Q400s. It plans to deploy 5-6% capacity on international routes by the end of the year.

The low-cost carrier also plans to import aviation turbine fuel directly from January, Mills said. "Hopefully by January we will start importing ATF."

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