New Delhi: With bidding for Air India out of its way, Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines (SIA) JV Vistara is all set to announce its fleet expansion plans — including a significant order for wide body planes for medium to long haul foreign routes — early this week. The full service airline will also give its international flights roadmap as it is now eligible to go abroad with over 20 planes in its fleet. Sources say the announcement may be made as early as Monday or Tuesday.
Vistara had expressed interest in AI divestment. Once it did bid for the airline it was clear that the airline will grow organically. The airline has been in talks with both Boeing and Airbus for fleet expansion order for a while now and the order is ready to be announced. In fact, while big Indian airlines — AI, Jet, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir — changed their baggage policies last week, Vistara did not announce any change as the same will be made once the international plans are rolled out in coming months, say sources.
The airline did not officially comment on its plans and its stand has been it will do so at the right time. “Tata’s deep pockets and SIA’s long haul experience will ensure a steady expansion of Vistara’s overseas footprint. The only thing holding its growth will be the crippling lack of airport infra in India where big airports like Delhi, Mumbai and major traffic growth centres like Patna have no slots to offer. India has been the world’s fastest growing aviation market in last few years but surprisingly no attention has been paid to augmenting airport infra,” said an aviation industry insider.
25/06/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India