SpiceJet has confirmed a purchase agreement with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft for 50 Q400 turboprop airliners. This would be the largest single order for the aircraft type.

On receiving the required certification by regulatory authorities, SpiceJet will be the first in the world to operate the 90-seat Q400 aircraft. The order is valued at about US$1.7 billion.

Ajay Singh, the chairman and managing director at SpiceJet said: “I am pleased to confirm SpiceJet’s latest order for up to 50 Bombardier Q400 planes that was announced in the Paris Airshow. I am sure this fresh order will further enhance connectivity to smaller towns and cities [in India] and help realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ensuring that every Indian can fly.”

SpiceJet, has been an active participant in the government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). It has been given the license to operate eleven routes under the first phase of RCS.

François Cognard, the vice president of sales, South-Asia and Australasia at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft said: “We have been witnessing growth in the number of passengers per departure in the turboprop market, and especially in India. Today, Bombardier offers the largest turboprop aircraft available on the market and SpiceJet will be the first airline to take advantage of the profitable and efficient operations that the 90-passenger high-density Q400 will offer them.”

Currently, SpiceJet’s fleet includes 20 Q400 aircraft in a 78-seat configuration that operate on domestic and international routes. Earlier this year, the airline also placed an order for 225 narrow and wide-body jets with Boeing.