The only private service carrier in India, Vistara, which is jointly owned by Singapore International Airlines (SIA) and Tata Sons might be gearing up to give a competition to the Gulf-based carriers Etihad and Emirates. According to a report by straitstimes, Vistara might be looking to induct more Boeing 787 Dreamliners, wide-body long haul planes into its fleet for an increased frequency to international destinations which are primarily being serviced by the Gulf-based carriers right now. Every Dreamliner 787 from Boeing will set back Vistara by $250 million which is the sticker price for that aircraft. Not only this, but the carrier might also be planning to buy more of the Airbus A320neos in the long-range model which is the 321XLR.
Carrier Likely to Buy New International Slots
Currently, the likes of Emirates connect India to Europe and other major international destinations. However, Vistara would like to loosen the grip of these carriers by starting to fly a plane on these routes itself. Tata Sons is the majority shareholder in Vistara. Also, SIA is looking towards India as a lucrative market as in Singapore it is starting to face competition from other low-cost carriers.
Vistara Fleet Missing Wide Body Aircraft
Not only this, but Vistara is also looking forward to buying some of the slots at London Heathrow airport each of which will be priced at around $70 million each for two decades. The issue with Vistara’s fleet currently is that it has wide-bodyody aircraft till now. The carrier only has a collection of narrow bodied planes which it flies on domestic routes. However, Vistara has placed its first order for the wide-body aircraft which it will be able to use for medium haul flights on international routes. However, there is an issue with flights which go to the USA or longer distances, and they need a place for the cabin crew to rest. Vistara currently has no such aircraft.