Vistara is in initial discussions with Air India on synergies on procurement of parts and may in future look at synergies in training, its CEO said Wednesday, June 8.
The airline also plans to lease 4-5 Boeing Dreamliner planes, as the American plane maker is running slower-than-expected on deliveries, a person in the know said.
Vistara is waiting to receive four aircraft from Boeing’s 787 production line, but deliveries have been frozen globally since May 2021 due to quality-control shortcomings.
“Procurement is certainly one of the areas we are discussing,” said Vinod Kannan, adding that on the customers’ and operations’ side they will continue to be competitors.
Vistara is the Tata group’s joint venture with Singapore Airlines. The aviation-to-automobile conglomerate last year bought Air India after it was put on the privatisation block by the government.
Kannan didn’t elaborate on how the synergies would pan out but said cost efficiencies would be on the top of the list. Vistara has a fleet of 53 planes and currently operates 250 flights to 41 destinations.
Vistara’s aircraft fleet include two 787-9s received before the delivery suspension and a mix of Airbus and Boeing narrow-body airliners. It plans to take 20 more aircraft by the end of 2023, mostly A320s to be used domestically and for nearby international destinations.
Expanding its footprint globally is a priority for Vistara, which began operations in 2015 but has not yet made a profit. India’s domestic market is dominated by low-cost carriers, such as IndiGo. International flying offers stronger pricing.
“The airline was supposed to get its third Dreamliner in October and a few more in the next six months. But Vistara will lease a few more in the interim to expand on its international operations,” said the person cited above. The airline recently started operations in Jeddah and Male.
(With Inputs from The Economic Times)