The Indian domestic carrier Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has been preparing for a significant expansion of its operations and its aircraft. Operating in one of the fastest growing aviation markets has made room for the airline to develop its network further and acquire new airplanes.
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Recently, Vistara announced that it will be adding 56 new airplanes to its existing fleet of 21 Airbus A321 airplanes. The new order made is for the acquisition of 50 Airbus A320neos and A321neos, along with six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. According to the agreements, Vistara will be able to receive all of its new aircraft by 2020. The company plans to expand its reach and make a presence in international markets by the end of 2018 and receiving more aircraft enables it to confidently act on its expansion objectives.
Vistara plans new routes?
Having in mind the size of Vistara’s existing fleet, an acquisition of 56 new airplanes is a significant move for the company and is the first of its kind since 2015, when the company officially launched operations. More than doubling its fleet size opens new doors for Vistara to expand its network reach and provide more destinations as part of its offering. Leslie Thng, the Chief Executive Officer of Vistara, has provided insight on the future plans of Vistara regarding its international expansion and has given orientation on the potential routes the carrier might explore.
Vistara has carefully strategized its expansion phases, segmenting its objectives into domestic/regional flights, served by its Airbus airplanes, and medium/long-haul flights, served by its new and yet to be received Boeing 787-900 Dreamliners. International expansion is a top focus for Vistara but the airline does not plan on neglecting its domestic network as it will be used as a backbone for its growth in international markets. More flights from Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai have been planned in order to maintain the frequency of domestic flights.
Expanding into international flights, Vistara’s Leslie Thing has pointed in the direction of South-East Asian regions and the Gulf as the first places to focus on for expansion. Although Vistara is likely to commence international flights alone, using its newly acquired planes, the possibility of forming codeshare agreements has not been dismissed and there is potential for a partnership between Vistara and Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines may be an attractive partner for Vistara due to its strong presence in the South-East Asian market.
Looking outside South-East Asia, Vistara has also made comments on its plans to search for suitable codeshare partners in Europe and North Asia, pointing in the direction of expansion in these regions as well. The company’s confidence in the growing Indian market is evident and it has reached a new level of evolution, where an international expansion is the most adequate step.