Boeing is set to announce its first Indian customer for the 737 Max at the Singapore Airshow next week.
Speaking to Flightglobal, Dinesh Keskar, its senior vice president for Asia Pacific and India sales, says a "sizable order" for the Max from an Indian carrier will soon be made public.
He would not name the carrier but says that SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Air India are natural potential customers since they already have the 737 in their fleets.
Keskar adds that the airframer is also confident of securing a second Max order from India later this year.
"It will be sizable number," he says. "We're going to press hard to make sure we protect our customer base in India."
Media reports in India claim that low-cost carrier SpiceJet has signed for some 40 737 Max aircraft. Jet Airways is also said to have made a similar Max order.
Keskar admits though that Indian carriers are "not doing well" due to the decline in the rupee, high fuel costs, and high capital costs and taxes in India.
India will however this year still see the entry of two new joint venture carriers - Tata SIA Airlines and India AirAsia. Both operators will use Airbus A320 for their operations.
Keskar says that he is "not even going to try" reaching out to AirAsia because of the large number of A320s the carrier has on its order books. He adds that with the huge backlog for the 737, it was not able to provide narrowbodies to Tata SIA in line with its target to start operations this year.
Source: Cirium Dashboard