Airbus SE has emerged as the front-runner to win an order for as many as 50 aircraft worth up to $5.5 billion from Jet Airways India Ltd., people familiar with the matter said, solidifying the European planemaker’s hold in the world’s fastest-growing aviation market.
The talks are for A320neo jets and A220 planes, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Boeing Co. and Embraer SA are also in discussions and no final decision has been taken, the people said. Although at sticker prices any transaction would be north of $5 billion, discounts are common in such large purchases. While delivery slots are scarce, airlines can lease jets from lessors who buy in bulk.
Representatives for Boeing and Airbus didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The potential order comes as Jet Airways, once India’s top private airline, is preparing to return to the skies. Jet Airways got its flying license last month, marking the first time a carrier has been revived under the nation’s new bankruptcy laws. The flying permit proved Jet Airways is ready to operate, signaling its transformation into a “new avatar with fresh funding, changed ownership, and new management,” according to a statement.
The airline last week invited former cabin crew to join it. Jet is planning to come back with a hybrid of premium and low-cost services, Chief Executive Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said in April. It will have a two-class configuration where business class passengers will be offered services including free meals, while economy class flyers will pay for meals and other services, he said.
Jet’s new owners -- Dubai-based, Indian-origin businessman Murari Lal Jalan and Florian Fritsch, chairman of London-based financial advisory and alternative asset manager Kalrock Capital Management Ltd. -- have pledged to make investments of as much as $120 million, Kapoor said.“We are in final negotiations with lessors and OEMs for aircraft, and we will announce our aircraft choice and fleet plan once we have made a decision,” a representative for Jet Airways said Monday. “We are studying all possibilities to find the one that works best for us.”