For years Bombardier Commercial Aircraft claimed a modest level of sales success in Asia, selling 297 airplanes over the years to 38 operators. But its performance there has proved uneven, and the company traditionally has depended on strongholds in North America and Europe for the majority of its revenues. Unfortunately for the Canadian manufacturer, what once stood as the world’s two biggest markets for regional aircraft have become saturated.
A growing appetite among Indian carriers to serve regional routes makes the country a potentially big market for 250 regional jets with a capacity of up to 120 seats, according to Brazilian airframer Embraer. Twin-turboprop manufacturer ATR estimates in the next five years India will requirearound 100 aircraft,and 200 in the longer term.
Even though the year ended with doom and gloom, the Indian air transport sector couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to 2012 with its largest budget carrier, IndiGo, signing a memorandum of understanding for the biggest commercial aviation deal in history valued at approximately $15.6 billion. The deal, which was subsequently firmed up, called for 180 of Airbus’ A320 family narrowbodies. This topped an earlier order by the carrier for 100 aircraft and seemed a clear indication that the Indian market is back on track after suffering severe losses during 2008- 2009.
India’s Kingfisher Airlines is attributing the grounding of 15 aircraft and de-leasing of another two to “rationalization” of its network to counter deep financial losses. “The airline industry in India is going through a tough period due to high costs and lower yields,” said Kingfisher Airlines CEO Sanjay Aggarwal. “We are no exception. We are taking steps to improve our financial performance and are rationalizing network, dropping unprofitable flights and expediting fleet reconfiguration.”
Shares in cash-strapped Indian carrier Kingfisher Airline fell by almost 18 percent on November 18 as company chairman Vijay Mallya worked to secure new short- and long-term funding amid reports of further routes being cut and flights cancelled. On November 17, Mallya confirmed that he is negotiating with an undisclosed high-net-worth individual in India with a view to injecting approximately $250 million into Kingfisher.
Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet took delivery of its fourth Q400 NextGen on September 7 and planned to deploy it late last month along with three others it received starting in late August. A delay in clearance from the Reserve Bank of India forced a postponement of first deliveries from July to the last week of August.
Gurgaon, India-based SpiceJet placed a firm order last month for 15 Bombardier Q400 turboprops in a deal worth some $446 million, according to the Canadian manufacturer. The low-fare airline also took options on another 15 airplanes.
Indian low-fare carrier SpiceJet plans to buy as many as 30 Q400 turboprops from Bombardier in a deal worth up to $900 million.
“The [SpiceJet] board has approved a firm order for 15 and 15 on option,” SpiceJet CEO Neil Mills told AIN. “It has gone to the aircraft review committee and we expect to sign the agreement most probably by the end of [November]. We expect the deliveries to commence from June 2011.
Boeing and Indian budget carrier SpiceJet announced an order for 30 Next Generation 737-800 with winglets in the presence of U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday in Mumbai. The contract, valued at some $2.3 billion at list prices, came as part of $10 billion worth of trade deals announced during the President’s visit. SpiceJet currently operates a fleet of 24 Boeing 737-800s and 737-900ERs.
Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet plans to buy as many as 30 Q400 turboprops from Bombardier in a deal worth up to $900 million.