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New Delhi: Budget airline SpiceJet Ltd plans to induct fuel-efficient Boeing 737 Max planes, which US President Donald Trump mentioned in his speech on Tuesday at the White House, from the middle of next year.

“We have placed a large order for the Boeing 737 MAX, in fact, the biggest ever placed by an Indian airline with Boeing. The new planes start to join the fleet in the middle of 2018 and with that our operating cost will further go down," Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The move will expand the airline’s India footprint and, as per the US Department of Commerce, create 132,000 high-skilled, high-paid American jobs within the US.

SpiceJet, with about 50 planes, controls 14% of the domestic market share.

SpiceJet placed 100 Boeing 737 Max aircraft order in January.

Besides the 100 aircraft, SpiceJet has an option to buy 50 more 737 Max planes that it can convert into a firm order later.

Taken with a previous order for 55 aircraft, SpiceJet’s total order stands at 205 planes. Of these, 155 will be delivered to the airline between 2018 and 2024.

At the Paris Air Show last week, SpiceJet said it has signed an agreement to buy a stretched version of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft that can fly more passengers and help overcome slot constraints at some local airports.

It signed a memorandum of understanding for 40 737 Max, including 20 new orders for 737 Max 10 and conversion of 20 of the low-cost carrier’s 737 Max 8 aeroplanes of its current order to 737 Max 10s.

During his address at the White House on Tuesday, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump had noted that an Indian airline had placed an order for 100 new planes with a US company which will support “thousands and thousands of jobs".

Air India bought planes worth $11 billion from Boeing in 2006 after the India-US nuclear deal. Jet Airways has also bought or leased Boeing planes for the past 25 years.

India has also bought defence equipment from the US worth about $15 billion in the last few years.

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