April 4, 2018 / 2:24 AM / a year ago

India's Jet Airways agrees to buy 75 Boeing 737 MAX jets worth $8.8 billion

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s Jet Airways Ltd (JET.NS) has entered into an agreement to buy 75 Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 MAX narrowbody jets, worth $8.8 billion (£6.2 billion), to meet passenger demand which has shown no sign of abating after years of growth.

FILE PHOTO: The first Boeing 737 MAX 7 is unveiled in Renton, Washington, U.S. February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File Photo

Jet Airways, in a filing to the stock exchange late on Tuesday, did not say whether the agreement was a formal order or a non-binding memorandum of understanding.

Boeing did not respond to a request for comment.

The jets would be worth $8.8 billion at list prices, though airlines typically receive significant discounts from manufacturers.

Shares of Jet Airways rose as much as 3.2 percent in Wednesday morning trade, and were trading up 1.4 percent at 0610 GMT. The wider Mumbai market .BSESN was up 0.25 percent.

The latest agreement comes as Indian airlines rush to expand fleets to meet ever-increasing demand for domestic as well as international flights, making it one of the most targeted sales markets for Boeing and European rival Airbus SE (AIR.PA).

Boeing said in July it expected Indian airlines to order up to 2,100 aircraft worth $290 billion over the next 20 years, calling it the highest-ever forecast for Asia’s third-largest economy.

Domestic passenger traffic increased 17.9 percent in January from a year earlier for the 41st consecutive month of double-digit growth, showed data from the International Air Transport Association.

Jet Airways Chief Executive Vinay Dube last month told reporters the airline was hoping to close the latest deal by the end of March.

The airline finalised a separate deal to buy 75 other Boeing 737 MAX aircraft last year.

Reporting by Jamie Freed in SINGAPORE and Aditi Shah in NEW DELHIEditing by Christopher Cushing

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