Vistara’s 1st Purchased Airbus 320NEO Arrives From Toulouse

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Vistara recently welcomed its first purchased Airbus A320neo powered by CFM LEAP engines, strengthening its operational assets and further growing its modern fleet.

The aircraft, registered VT-TQE, arrived in Delhi from Airbus’ production facility in Toulouse, France.

Vistara’s NEO Family

It is one of the 13 Airbus A320neo that Vistara had purchased in 2018 as part of a larger order totalling 50 aircraft from the Airbus A320neo Family, including the Airbus A321neo aircraft as well.

The new set of A320neo aircraft that Vistara has been adding to its fleet come with higher range capability (77 tonnes of maximum take-off weight), enabling the airline to fly longer regional international routes without payload restrictions.

This addition to Vistara’s fleet takes the total count of the airline’s owned aircraft to three. Vistara had also purchased six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft for long-haul international operations, two of which are already in service.

Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “The Airbus A320 is an integral part of our fleet and growth story, and this particular aircraft is, indeed, special. It mirrors the maturity that Vistara has achieved in the Indian aviation industry in a short span of time, continuing to steadily grow in scale, size and operational assets.”

Mr. Thng said that the new aircraft underlines our focus on continuous enhancement of fleet to provide world-class flying experience to our customers.

Enhanced Operational Performance

Vistara’s A320neo aircraft come with enhanced operational performance and cabin features that include in-seat AC Power Outlet, USB Charging Ports and PED (Personal Electronic Device) holders.

It has a total of 164 seats in a three-class cabin configuration, including 8 seats in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 132 in Economy.. Vistara now has 46 aircraft in its fleet, including 36 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A321neo, 2 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 6 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft.

Vistara is India’s highest-rated airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor and has been the winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards. In a short span of six years since starting operations, Vistara has raised the bar for operations and service delivery in the Indian aviation industry by offering a world-class flying experience to travellers.

Simpleflying said that similar to many Indian carriers, a vast majority of Vistara’s fleet is leased rather than owned outright. This helps keep capital costs low and offers the chance to quickly grow the fleet size. However, nearly every airline has at least a handful of aircraft it owns.

The report said that its biggest lessor is BOC Aviation, which has leased the carrier 14 aircraft, 11 A320neos and three 737s. In second place is GECAS, which currently leases out eight A320neos and previously had given 737s as well. Right behind the pair is Avolon, which rents out another seven A320s.

Keeping Expenditure Low

Simpleflying added that Indian carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet have both acquired scores of planes almost solely through leasing. This has kept costs down and operations growing, both critical factors for the challenging market. Vistara seems to have taken a similar path, opting to keep its fleet young and capital expenditure low.

Under Indian government rules, an airline cannot begin operating international services until five years of operation and a fleet of 20 aircraft. The airline met these targets in 2019, allowing them to officially start international flights and make better use of its premium-heavy aircraft.

Travel restrictions have meant that the airline has been unable to expand into several routes it was hoping to. Despite this, the carrier announced that it would begin serving Tokyo Haneda from this June, its first long-haul routes in East Asia.

One of the most exciting developments for Vistara has also been its recent request to begin services to the United States, and would be in competition with Air India and United, boosting connectivity between the countries.


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