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Vistara, the Indian affiliate of Singapore Airlines, is in talks with Airbus SE and Boeing Co to buy jets worth as much as $8.5 billion as the carrier seeks to tap India’s growing middle class, according to people familiar with the plans.
Vistara, a joint venture (JV) with majority owner Tata Group, is seeking to buy about 50 narrowbody jets, typically used for shorter routes, and up to 10 widebodies, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private negotiations. A final decision is likely by June, one of the people said.
A representative for Vistara didn’t respond to requests for comments.
The order is the first of several expected aircraft deals Indian carriers are set to place in the coming months, as carriers expand in the world’s fastest growing major aviation market. Budget operators IndiGo, run by InterGlobe Aviation, and SpiceJet are now exploring the low-cost, long-haul model, which would need widebody aircraft on top of the more than 500 single-aisle jets already on order from them. Jet Airways India is also in talks to buy as many as 100 narrowbody jets.
At the Singapore Airshow this week, Airbus and Boeing are pitching their new fuel-efficient aircraft to help airlines counter rising oil prices. After years of ordering planes, Gulf carriers like Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways Public Joint Stock Company have slowed down, with the focus shifting to Asia.
Asia Pacific is likely to have 3.5 billion passengers by 2036, adding more than double the forecast for North America and Europe combined, according to the International Air Transport Association estimates. To meet that demand, Boeing estimates carriers will need 16,050 new aircraft valued at $2.5 trillion by 2036.