Vistara pits Airbus against Boeing for $8.5 billion jet order
Vistara, a joint venture between Indian conglomerate Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) (SIA), is said to be in talks with Airbus and Boeing to buy up to 60 new aircraft in a deal that would be worth as much as $8.5 billion. The order is the first of several expected aircraft deals Indian carriers are set to place in the coming months.
Vistara first revealed plans to expand its fleet size three years ago. Back in 2015, Reuters reported that the Indian airline is looking to procure an undecided number of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. Now, the carrier is said to discuss buying about 50 narrow-body jets, as well as up to 10 wide-body jets, Bloomberg discovered.
At the Singapore Airshow 2018, which is taking place on February 6-11, the rival plane makers – Airbus and Boeing – are set to pitch their new fuel-efficient aircraft, including Airbus A330neo and Boeing’s 737Max and 787 airplanes. In the smaller aircraft arena the A320neo is competing against 737Max. On the larger aircraft, A330neos are competing with 787 Dreamliners, Bloomberg writes.
Vistara’s plans to order new aircraft come as carriers race to expand in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation market. According to IATA, India will become the third largest aviation market in the world in terms of passengers by 2026. The IATA also expects the Asia Pacific region is likely to have 3.5 billion passengers by 2036.
At home, budget operators IndiGo, run by InterGlobe Aviation, and SpiceJet are exploring the low-cost long-haul model which requires wide-body aircraft. Such aircraft would come on top of the more than 500 single-aisle jets already on order for them. Jet Airways India is also in talks to buy as many as 100 narrow-body jets. With these estimates in mind Vistara is racing on all fronts.
Vistara is an Indian domestic airline based in Gurgaon. It is a full-service carrier which plans to use its hub at Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport to transfer traffic. The carrier was established jointly by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) in 2015. Tata is the carrier’s majority owner, while Singapore Air owns 49 percent of the shares.
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