Vistara plans major global expansion, signs Rs 21,000-cr deal with Airbus, Boeing for 19 aircraft
Over three weeks after Vistara became eligible to fly overseas following the induction of 21st aircraft into its fleet, the joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines on Wednesday announced its biggest deal with aerospace majors Airbus and Boeing. The company has entered into a $3.1-billion (Rs 21,332 crore) deal with both Airbus and Boeing for 13 A320 neo aircraft and six B787-9 Dreamliners, most expensive model of the Dreamliner family, reported The Hindu. All these planes will be added to its rapidly increasing fleet between 2019 and 2023.
India being the fastest growing Asian market would provide a solid base for Vistara to foray into the global market. "These orders demonstrate our deep-rooted commitment to contributing to the rise of the Indian aviation industry and to offering more choices to our customers," the newspaper quoted Vistara CEO Leslie Thng as saying.
Both the aerospace companies are going to benefit from the deal. India is not only the fastest growing aviation market in the world but also an increasingly important battleground for plane makers. The country's aviation market is expected to surpass the US and China by crossing a billion passenger trips per year in the next 10 to 15 years.
Airbus' narrow-body jets seem to be the biggest priority for Vistara, which has ordered 13 A320 neo and A321 neo aircraft from the European aerospace major. According to reports, Airbus could also be favoured by Vistara to pull in another seven neo aircraft, which are priced around $110 million, excluding discounts. A company statement also said the airline will lease 37 new A320 neo aircraft from leasing companies to increase its fleet of the A320 neos to 50.
The deal with Boeing, a US multinational corporation, includes orders for six B787-9 Dreamliners and a purchase rights to buy four more from the 787 Dreamliners family.
In April when the three-year-old airline received its 20th aircraft, CEO Leslie Thng had said that the addition was not just another addition but a landmark one that signals Vistara's arrival on the global map. "It marks the beginning of our next phase of growth," said Thng. Vistara has applied for international rights to a number of countries in Southeast Asia, including Singapore and Bangkok, as well as hotspots like Dubai in the Gulf.