Vistara is the only private full-service carrier in India. While the other full-service carrier in India is the national airline, Air India, most eyes are on Vistara now as the airline is planning to expand its wings outside India. Vistara has already started flights to destinations like Singapore, Thailand and others. The carrier is also going to receive its first lot of Boeing 7878-9 Dreamliner planes which will be the initial widebody aircraft addition in Vistara’s fleet. Until now, Vistara boasts of a fleet of 41 aircraft in which it has mostly Airbus A320neos and some of the Boeing 737-800 planes which it procured from Jet Airways, after its exit. But, now it is possible that Vistara might extend its order for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner planes.
Vistara to Secure Slots at London Heathrow
Whether or not Vistara will extend its order and induct more planes into its fleet depends on how many slots the carrier will secure at London Heathrow airport. Vistara has already shared plans to expand to other countries like Europe where Etihad and Emirates have a huge share. However, the trouble for Vistara is the absence of wide-body aircrafts which are required to service these countries.
Singapore International Airlines Likely Behind the Move
As per a Bloomberg report on the matter, the Singapore based carrier, Singapore International Airlines might be the one behind this move to induct more wide-body aircraft. This is because SIA owns a 49% stake in Vistara and it has plans to compete with hard with the Gulf-based carrier Emirates in India. While the Singapore based airline is facing heavy competition in the South East Asian market from the low-cost carriers, the Indian aviation industry seems to be a lucrative option for the carrier to make its move. But, a prerequisite to compete with Emirates is the wide-body aircraft, as Emirates has a big fleet of them and is also its speciality. Currently, it seems that London seems to be the prime destination in mind for Vistara. However, each slot at the London Heathrow airport will set back the carrier by $70 million approximately.