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Vistara leases 4 aircraft from grounded Jet Airways fleet

FE Bureau

Full-service carrier Vistara has leased six aircraft, including four Boeing 737 operated by grounded Jet Airways, as part of its next phase of growth, the company said on Friday.The airline, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, will induct Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft in May, while two Airbus A320neos will join its fleet in the next few months. Currently, it operates 120 daily fights with its fleet of 22 A320 aircraft. Its domestic market share during April stood at 4.7%, against 4% a year ago.

SpiceJet has added more than 15 B737 aircraft to its fleet that were earlier operated by Jet. It plans to induct around 40 planes from Jet s fleet, as it aims to ramp up its international operations. Vistara got more than 100 slots of Jet at various airports, including Mumbai. It was also allotted overseas flying rights to Gulf and Asean nations. These slots fell vacant after Jet announced suspension of all operations on April 17 due to a financial crunch. The airline has recruited nearly 500 employees, including pilots, from Jet. Vistara had received permission from the government to fly on international routes in March this year.

Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara, believes the airline s decision to operate Boeing aircraft (currently it operates only Airbus aircraft) will prove to be economical. Our decision to induct a different aircraft type in our fleet is a carefully evaluated one, which is both economically and commercially viable, and will eventually help us take the Vistara experience wider and deeper across markets in India, Thng said in a statement.

The new set of aircraft has been leased from the Singapore-based leasing firm BOC Aviation, which had deregistered its planes operated by Jet for the non-payment of dues. Last year, Vistara had placed an order for 50 A320neo and A321neo for domestic and medium-haul international operations while its Boeing order comprises six B787-9 Dreamliners to be put on long-haul overseas routes. The delivery of these aircraft is scheduled between the second half of 2019 and 2023.