In 2019, Vistara made a big splash by deciding to induct Boeing 737 aircraft in its fleet after the government decided that new slots were only going to be given away to Indian airlines, which would show new capacity induction and not just rejig older routes to grab new slots. Given Vistara’s new A320 aircraft were not slotted to be delivered before the last quarter of 2019, Vistara figured they would add used aircraft on lease to show this increased capacity.
Since there were only Boeing 737 aircraft available on short notice in India (ex Jet Airways airframes), Vistara made a bold move of inducting 737 aircraft for the time being while their aircraft would not have flown in from Airbus. After all, they had to induct these aircraft and press them into service within a month.
Over a while, Vistara inducted 9 737 aircraft on various short-term lease tenures and inducted ex-Jet Airways cabin crew, flight crew, engineers and others. They also leased an A320neo airframe which is fully economy class configured and used to be operated by WOWAir earlier. These inductions helped them launch flights across the country but largely build a big presence out of Mumbai, which was always on the wishlist of Vistara, but the airline was not able to get any slots due to none being available.
Vistara started to release some of the old 737s in 2020 and was eventually left with just one airframe. Here is how the 9 airframes moved around.
- VT-TGE: inducted in June 2019, exited July 2023 and currently stored at Hosur
- VT-TGH: inducted in June 2019, left in February 2023 and transitioned to Air India Express
- VT-TGG: inducted in August 2019, left in January 2023 and transitioned to Air India Express
- VT-TGF: inducted in June 2019, exited in February 2020 and currently leased to REX
- VT-TGD: inducted in May 2019, left in August 2021 and presently stored
- VT-TGC: inducted in June 2019, left in January 2020 and currently leased to Izhavia
- VT-TGB: inducted in May 2019, exited May 2023 and presently stored
- VT-TGA: inducted in May 2019, exited November 2022 and currently due to Air Europa Express
- VT-TGI: inducted in August 2019, left in May 2020 and presently leased to Avelo Air
Back in the day, industry sources LiveFromAlounge talked to had indicated that 2023 would be when the exit for the 737s from Vistara’s fleet will be completed, and this is the timeline that has played out per the discussions.
Vistara tweeted as well about the exit of their 737 aircraft.
Our Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft takes its last commercial flight today and has been an integral part of our journey! We are proud to be an airline with one of the youngest fleet consisting of fuel-efficient aircraft. pic.twitter.com/PuynmCFsYf
— Vistara (@airvistara) July 26, 2023
Vistara has finally seen the exit of all nine 737 aircraft in its fleet, and some have made it to Air India Express, a sister airline. With that out of the way, Vistara’s fleet no longer has one sub-fleet with no premium economy cabin (there is another sub-fleet of all-economy A320neos, still).
What do you think of Vistara’s 737 while they were around, and what do you think of their exit from the fleet?
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