Full-service carrier Vistara Airlines is getting ready to fly non-stop, laong-haul international routes from the end of this year. According to a PTI report, the airline has placed firm orders for 13 A320neos and A321neos, with seven more options from the same family — and six Boeing 787-9, or Dreamliner aircraft. It will be leasing 37 of the Airbus single-aisle aircraft taking the total number of Airbus aircraft it is likely to add to its fleet to 50. It also signed a letter of intent with Boeing for purchase rights of four more 787s, not specifying the variant though (787-9 or 787-10).
A mixed fleet of both Boeing and Airbus increases the operational and maintenance cost for an airline. Vistara currently has 21 Airbus A320neo and A320ceo aircraft and is an Airbus fleet airline. It currently flies to international destinations such as Singapore and Bangkok, that are within five hours of flight time. But Vistara is going with a strategy of servicing both long-haul routes and short-haul (domestic) routes. Some airlines do this through code share agreements with carriers who fly long-haul routes. Others will deploy a mix of long/medium range aircraft such as Boeing 777, 787 and Airbus A330/340/350 aircraft in their fleet. Jet Airways, for instance, owns mainly Boeing aircraft and uses the 777 for its long-haul routes. I has a code share with 21 airlines. But Air-India uses Dreamliners for both domestic and international routes. The domestic routes are serviced using its fleet of Airbus A319, A320 aircraft as well as regional ATR aircraft.
Indian travellers, especially those travelling abroad for business or education, are known to fly a single airline from a tier-1 or tier-2 city (like Goa), non-stop to an international destination. And Vistara is targeting this category of travellers for its international routes. It aims to use long-haul aircraft such as the 787 Dreamliner for more non-stop routes like Delhi to Toronto.
Vistara Airlines is a joint venture between the Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.
Another Vistara story from our archive: Vistara deploys SITA Aircom and network technology
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