SpiceJet stands by Boeing in 'tough time', says Ajay Singh

Last Updated 25 February 2020, 15:18 IST

Boeing is facing a "stressful time" and SpiceJet is there as a partner to stand by it in these tough times but "we expect reciprocity", the airline's chief Ajay Singh said on Tuesday.

SpiceJet -- the lone domestic carrier that has now-grounded Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet -- has also placed a USD 22 billion order for aircraft with the US major.

In 2019, Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded worldwide in the wake of two fatal crashes involving the aircraft. SpiceJet grounded 13 such planes in March last year.

Against this backdrop, Singh on Tuesday asserted that the airline has stood by Boeing.

Participating in a panel discussion at the 'US–India Forum: Partners for Growth' conference here, the SpiceJet Chairman & Managing Director said that at this time Boeing has a lot of problems and they are trying to get this plane flying.

"At the same time, they are trying to compensate airlines... so it is a stressful time.

"We are there as partners to stand by them through a tough time but we expect reciprocity and I think the biggest thing that companies on both sides can do is to look at the what the objectives of the two countries are," he said.

Singh also said the airline's order is worth USD 22 billion and would create 1,32,000 highly paid high-skilled jobs in the US.

On February 14, SpiceJet said Boeing has offered an interim compensation with respect to the grounding of MAX planes, a development that has substantially hit the airline's profitability.

The carrier, which has been aggressively expanding its operations, expects to take a final decision on Boeing compensation before March-end, its Chief Financial Officer Kiran Koteshwar had said.

"We were expecting the MAX to return to service by January 2020 but that hasn't happened.

"The continued grounding and the delay in its return to service has undoubtedly hit our growth plans adversely and resulted in inefficient operations and increased costs," Singh said on February 14.

(Published 25 February 2020, 15:18 IST)

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