Vistara orders Boeing 787-9s & Airbus A320 Family Aircraft

The day before, I was at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse for the unveil of the Airbus A220 aircraft, scratching my head about what was about to come from the Indian customer base for the airline. After all, if you visit the Airbus Delivery Centre, many a planes ready for delivery are heading to Asia, specifically India and China.

Airbus Delivery Centre Toulouse

Vistara, as an airline, grew out of an idea to provide customer focussed service to the Indian flyer. When they started, they ordered 20 aircraft, and topped off with two more, to get in line with the minimum compliance required to fly internationally from India. At that point of time, the requirement for Indian airlines to fly internationally was 5 years of operations and 20 aircraft fleet at the minimum.

So the idea was to keep in line with the regulation till further clarity did not come through on if they could fly abroad or not. Fleet planning is a multi-year view subject, so it looked like a smart move to go with the minimum and start flying. Along the way, the requirements changed, to only have a 20 aircraft to be eligible to fly abroad. That is when Vistara rushed deliveries to get closer to the goal post.

Vistara added their 20th, and also their 21st aircraft this year. They are confirmed to fly abroad this year, except they haven’t made any announcements yet about where will they fly and when. The newspapers have revealed that Bangkok and Maldives could be some of the initial destinations.

Yesterday, they started to unveil their game plan for the future. The airline was speculated to order the Boeing 787 for its long-haul operations, which is something they have now confirmed.

The airline has now announced their fleet growth plans, and are working with Boeing as well as Airbus for the further growth of their fleet. The new Vistara Aircraft Order, announced yesterday their plans to add 50 Airbus A320neo family aircraft (13 firm orders, 37 to be taken from leasing companies) and 6 Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Vistara has also retained options for seven more aircraft from the A320neo family and four more aircraft from the 787 family.


Deliveries for the A320neo and A321neo aircraft will be between 2019 and 2023. For the B787-9s, delivery will be scheduled between 2020 and 2021.

While there will be many guesses about the product inside and the route network, the Boeing 787-9 could be a very nice product to start long haul network with a range that is capable to fly to North America on one end, and Australia on the other. But the airline has clarified in the press release that they would be used for medium to long haul operations. So, I’m guessing London, another European airport and Hong Kong, Singapore are also going to be a part of the game plan going forward.

I’m also sort of thinking that this is Vistara repeating their earlier launch strategy all over again. They may order more aircraft in the coming years, but they first want to start small, figure out how this could go and then once gone up the learning curve, go for the kill.

I’m clearly excited for Vistara taking these big steps, and can’t wait to see their new product.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Vistara should operate from South Indian Airports as Kannur, Banglore , Chennai
    Kochin etc to West European Airports where there is more scope for business and help
    to boost tourism in S India.

  2. Ordering 6 aircrafts is a smart strategy as they can test the waters with a limited investment and tweak their network strategy and product offering before comitting to a bigger fleet. Seems like they have learnt from Jet’d mistakes who took over a decade to come up with a wide body business plan that has some chances to be sustainable. I somehow think that Tata SIA have not given up on AI and if a merger was to happen some years down, the 787-9 would be a perfect fit.

    In terms of an aircraft choice the 787-9 offers the right amount of capacity for a new long haul carrier like Vistara and offers the flexibility to be deployed across a variety od destinations- it can operate efficiently across mid-haul missions to Asia and Europe as well as ultra long haul missions to North America.

  3. BOM needs to blast away all the slums to make room for another runway or build another airport. Till then BOM can’t have much more flights as there is only a limited number of flights you can fit in a tiny (relative to DEL or SIN) airport with a single runway.

  4. and again mostly from DEL to the world. BOM as usual will be ignored just like all other major airlines.

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