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India’s Akasa Air orders 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

India’s Akasa Air orders 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

The cockpit of an Aeroméxico Boeing 737 MAX 9 is displayed at Benito Juárez International Airport, in Mexico City, Mexico, on July 14, 2021. REUTERS / Luis Cortes

DUBAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) – India’s Akasa Air placed an order for 72 Boeing on Tuesday (PROHIBITION) 737 MAXs, valued at nearly $ 9 billion at list prices, a deal that could help the US aircraft maker regain lost ground in one of the world’s most promising markets.

The order from the airline backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala comes months after India’s aviation safety regulator allowed the country’s airlines to fly the MAX jet, ending its nearly two and a half years of grounding. regulatory after two fatal accidents in five months killed 346 people.

Jhunjhunwala, known as “Warren Buffett of India”, has partnered with former CEOs of IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, and Jet Airways. (JET.NS) to tap into domestic air travel demand, which is approaching pre-pandemic levels as the country recovers from a devastating outbreak earlier this year.

The low-cost airline received initial authorization from the Ministry of Civil Aviation to begin operating in October and is expected to begin flying next year.

“We are already witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, and we see decades of growth ahead,” Akasa Air Chief Executive Vinay Dube said at the Dubai air show, where the order was announced.

Akasa’s order includes two variants, the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200, the companies said.

Reuters reported in September that Boeing was close to winning an order for 70-100 737 MAX jets from Akasa, pending separate talks on a long-term engine service agreement.

Boeing dominates India’s market for 51 wide-body jets, but fare wars and high costs have led to declines among full-service airlines, including Kingfisher Airlines in 2012 and Jet Airways in 2019, making airlines low cost and Airbus are even more dominant.

Boeing’s share of India’s 570 narrow-body jets fell to 18% from 35% after Jet’s collapse in 2018, data from consultancy CAPA India shows. Currently, SpiceJet is the only customer for MAX aircraft in the country.

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