Is it time for a mega airplane deal from India?
Allegiant Air LLC, the American Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC), last week placed an order for 50 Boeing 737MAX aircraft, with an option for as many more. It was the first deal Boeing managed to crack in the ULCC segment. The deal was also significant because Allegiant has an existing fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 planes.
The airline put out a presentation to support its choice of the B737MAX over the A320neo, which would have made for commonality. One of the many factors that tilted the deal in favour of Boeing was availability.
Although it produces over 50 aircraft per month, Airbus has a long waiting period for the A320neo. Boeing, on the other hand, has a large number of B737MAX planes for delivery because of the aircraft’s grounding for two years+ on account of two crashes in 2018 and 2019. Additional delivery slots will become available in the near future.
Allegiant, for example, will start receiving its MAX planes from next year. Similar is the case of the Indian start-up Akasa, which is due to get its first MAX in the first quarter of financial year 2023, having placed an order at the Dubai air show last year.