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Vistara Takes Delivery of Its 70th Aircraft

The carrier is receiving its final widebody aircraft on order.

Vistara 787-9 aircraft on the Boeing flight line in Everett, Wash. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Zera)

Vistara, the growing Indian full-service airline, recently took delivery of its last Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from its large aircraft order placed in 2018.

The order came at a time when Vistara was just a small upstart in the Indian aviation industry.  It had taken delivery of its first aircraft in 2015. There were aspirations for international operations at the time but initial flights were limited to short-haul aircraft due to aircraft availability.

In late summer 2019, the airline launched its first international flights from New Delhi to Singapore using a former Jet Airways Boeing 737. The carrier then took delivery of its first of many Boeing 787-9 widebody aircraft from its 2018 order.

This aircraft was delivered in February 2020 and took to the skies domestically at first by shuttling passengers between New Delhi and Kolkata in May 2020. After a short familiarization period, the airline launched its first international long-haul route using the Dreamliner to London’s Heathrow Airport from New Delhi.

Over the years the airline has continued to add international long-haul destinations as more Dreamliners joined the fleet. The airline now serves destinations such as Frankfurt, Paris, and Bali, Indonesia with Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The international network is also supplemented by Airbus A320 family aircraft that fly short to medium haul destinations like Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Bangkok.

Merger with Air India

With the delivery of this aircraft, the Vistara fleet now stands at 70 aircraft in service and no more aircraft on order. The airline will now be shifting gears to focusing on the next big task: working on the merger with Air India.

Historically, Vistara was a joint venture between the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines. When the Tata Group emerged as the entity that was going to take over Air India from the government, there was considerable speculation as to what would happen to the brand.

Eventually, it became clear that a merger was in order between Air India and Vistara. The Indian government signed off on the merger in late 2023 and it’s expected that final regulatory clearance for the merger should be done by the middle of 2024. The actual merging of operations would then begin and it is expected to wrap up halfway through 2025.

The merger will make Air India the country’s second-largest domestic carrier and the largest international carrier with a combined fleet size of over 200 aircraft. It’s expected that Singapore Airlines will keep a stake in the combined entity as part of the merger agreement. The airline currently owns about half of Vistara and will retain ownership of approximately a quarter of the combined entity after the merger.

Hemal Gosai

Author

  • Hemal Gosai

    Hemal took his first flight at four years old and has been an avgeek since then. When he isn't working as an analyst he's frequently found outside watching planes fly overhead or flying in them. His favorite plane is the 747-8i which Lufthansa thankfully flies to EWR allowing for some great spotting. He firmly believes that the best way to fly between JFK and BOS is via DFW and is always willing to go for that extra elite qualifying mile.

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