Indian low-fare start-up Spicejet placed an order at Aero India for 10 Boeing 737-800s, plus 10 options.

The carrier, formerly known as Royal Airways and ModiLuft, says it will launch services in May with three used 189-seat leased 737-800s. The 10 purchased aircraft will be added from 2006, but Boeing is not providing exact delivery dates.

Spicejet board director Bhulo Kansagra says the decision to acquire 737s was "driven by the support Boeing was willing to give Spicejet and the competitiveness of the 737-800 compared with other industry aircraft".

But Airbus says it did not bid for the contract because all its 2006 A320 delivery slots are sold out.

At the show, International Aero Engines (IAE) also confirmed that Air Deccan had selected the V2500 to power 30 additional Airbus A320s to be delivered from 2007.

The V2500 already powers the carrier's existing leased A320s and was earlier selected for two purchased aircraft that will be delivered in September.

Indian low-fare start-up, Kingfisher has already selected V2500-powered A320s. A potential fourth Indian low-fare carrier ownedby the Wadia Group has notyet selected an aircraft type, but Airbus says it is looking to lease three narrowbodies starting later this year and another three from 2006.

The proliferation of low-cost carriers in India and the opening of the international market to private airlines is prompting Airbus and Boeing to revise their market forecasts for India.

Source: Flight International