Mumbai (AFP) – Indian airline Jet Airways has entered an agreement to buy 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in a deal that could be worth more than $7 billion.
The country’s second-largest airline made the announcement to the Mumbai stock exchange late Tuesday.
The company did not specify which model of the narrow-body jet it planned to purchase, or whether it had placed a firm order rather than a memorandum of understanding.
The deal could be worth anywhere between $7.2 billion and $9.7 billion, depending on the type of jet acquired and based on list prices. Airlines often negotiate discounts on major orders.
India is witnessing a boom in air travel as its growing middle class takes to the skies. Airlines are rapidly expanding their fleets to capture a slice of this market.
There has been a six-fold increase in passenger numbers over the past decade as Indians take advantage of better connectivity and cheaper fares thanks to a host of low-cost airlines.
The Centre for Aviation based in Australia predicts India will overtake Britain as the world’s third-largest market by 2025 and will have 478 million fliers by 2036.
India’s largest airline IndiGo last year announced a deal to buy 50 small planes from French manufacturer ATR.
The majority of Jet Airways’ fleet are Boeing aircraft.
Boeing says the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in its history, with more than 4,300 orders received.