The Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved purchase of 46 new aircraft worth $4.1-billion (R19,270-crore) by low-cost carriers SpiceJet, IndiGo and Jet Lite. Delhi-based SpiceJet, in which media baron and Sun TV chief Kalanithi Maran acquired a controlling stake in June, received in-principle nod by an empowered committee of the ministry to import 30 Boeing 737-800s.
The airline had in July signed an agreement with Boeing to purchase 30 aircraft for $2.7 billion (R12,690 crore).
IndiGo Airlines has been granted approval to import 14 A-320s, while JetLite has been allowed to import two Boeing 737-800s. The approval was given last week and deliveries are expected to begin in November. In total, Boeing will supply 32 planes and its European rival Airbus 14.
The orders also reflect the growing importance of low-cost carriers in the Indian market, who fly around half of all passengers in India.
Indian airlines carried a record 44 million passengers in 2009 and Boeing has said it expects that number to increase by eight to 10 per cent this year.