Money News

SpiceJet order adds to Bombardier's India footprint

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier IncBBDb.TO said on Thursday that low-fare airline SpiceJet LtdSPJT.BO has ordered 15 short-haul turboprop planes, worth about $446 million, and has taken options for another 15.

File photo of a SpiceJet aircraft coming in for a landing at the airport in Mumbai, July 15, 2008. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe/Files

If all the options were converted to firm orders, the value of the deal could increase to about $915 million, based on the book value of the company’s Q400 NextGen short-haul aircraft.

Bombardier said the order establishes the Q400 NextGen airliner in India, where the company, the world's No. 3 civil aircraft manufacturer after AirbusEAD.PA and BoeingBA.N, sees a huge opportunity for future sales.

“We expect India to take delivery of 600 commercial aircraft in the 20- to 149-seat category over the next 20 years, and we believe our optimized Q400 NextGen turboprop, CRJ Series regional jets and all-new CSeries aircraft are ideally suited to capture a sizable portion of those deliveries,” Gary Scott, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said in a statement.”

The company opened a regional support office in Mumbai earlier this year.

Air traffic in India -- the world’s second-fastest growing major economy -- has been on a steady rise, increasing by 18.3 percent in the January to October period.

Bombardier’s 70- to 80-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft are seen as quiet, fuel-efficient alternatives to regional jets and are able to takeoff and land on shorter runways.

SpiceJet said the Q400 NextGen planes would allow it reach more than 60 airports in what it called underserved cities and industrial towns that cannot be served by larger jets.

SpiceJet has also been expanding its international routes and in July it ordered 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft worth $2.7 billion for delivery from 2014.

Shares of Montreal-based Bombardier were down 4 Canadian cents at C$4.58 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway