GECAS signed with Vistara (India) a leasing agreement for seven Airbus A320neos. The carrier is preparing to step out of domestic market into international routes, thus massively expanding its fleet by both purchasing and leasing aircraft.

The leasing company announced the news on October 23, 2018, adding it expects the aircraft deliveries from Airbus in late 2019 to 2020. “With the signing of this agreement we welcome GECAS as one of our new leasing partners for Vistara’s next phase of fleet expansion,” Leslie Thng, CEO of Vistara is quoted as saying in a statement by GECAS.

“The neo - with advanced technology, offering the fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and improved range attributed to CFM’s LEAP-1A engines – will further strengthen our domestic network and expand the regional international operations which we plan to launch soon,” Thng adds.

Back in July 2018, it became known that Vistara is looking to lease 37 A320neos from leasing companies. At the time, it had already come to agreements to place firm orders with Airbus and Boeing for 13 A320neo family aircraft and six 787-9 Dreamliners – and options for more.

India’s domestic carrier Vistara has come to the agreement to place firm orders for 13 Airbus and six Boeing jetliners, in a $3.1 billion worth deal.

The Indian full service provider is looking to expand domestic network and launch international flights. However, media reports on October 22, 2018, hint that due to ongoing Air Asia bribery investigation in India, Vistara’s international flights might be put on hold. Air Asia is under investigation of allegedly bribing government officials to obtain international flights permission. Both Vistara and Air Asia are join-venture airlines between foreign airlines and Indian conglomerate Tata Sons.

After corruption scandals and several months without a CEO, Air Asia India has a new head. Sunil Bhaskaran, currently corporate affairs VP at Tata Steel, was appointed as the airline’s CEO and managing director effective November 15, 2018.