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US Vice President Mike Pence Wants To Visit SpiceJet Office In India

Washington:  US Vice President Mike Pence has expressed his desire to visit budget carrier SpiceJet’s office on his trip to India in a meeting with the airline’s chief Ajay Singh.

The Indian no-frills airline was lauded by US President Donald Trump for an order of 100 new planes with American aircraft manufacturer Boeing and the massive jobs this will create in the country.

Pence had met Mr Singh yesterday on the sidelines of the annual gala of the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

Thanking SpiceJet CEO for thousands of high value jobs the airline’s order would create in the US, Pence said its deal with Boeing was extensively discussed in the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump, according to the airline’s spokesperson.

“Pence informed Singh that he was invited by the PM to visit India which he has accepted. The VP also expressed a desire to visit the SpiceJet office during his India visit,” the spokesperson added.

SpiceJet had announced an order of 100 Boeing planes worth USD 22 billion in January. The order is expected to create 1.32 lakh high-skilled jobs in the US. 

Last month, the airline also signed an initial pact for 40 Boeing 737 MAX planes. This includes conversion of 20 737 MAX 8 airplanes from its existing order of 737 MAX 10s.

Mr Singh also gifted a SpiceJet aircraft model to Pence for President Trump.

While addressing the USIBC Pence said, “I know that American companies are going to continue to give India’s aviation industry the wings it needs to soar. And let me just take the opportunity, as the President did yesterday, to say thank you to SpiceJet for investing and believing in American workers and American businesses.”

He also thanked Indian businesses “for your investment in our nation’s future.”

In an interview with PTI, Mr Singh said India should be looked upon as not only a strategic partner in a military context, and in the context of two countries together fighting terrorism, but also as a strategic partner that helps create jobs in the US.

He also lamented that manufacturing of commercial planes in India “has not been given a thought to, at the moment”.