Vistara, as the airline is known, will buy 13 of the A320neo and A321neo jets that have a list price starting at about $111 million each and six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners at about $282 million apiece. The combined order is valued at $3.1 billion, excluding customary discounts.
Additionally, Vistara will be renting 37 new A320neo family aircraft from leasing companies, according to a statement from the carrier on Wednesday. The airline currently has a fleet of 21 single-aisle Airbus planes.
Vistara, Jet Airways India Ltd. and SpiceJet Ltd. are among Indian carriers boosting orders from Asia as regional operators add routes and swell their fleets to meet travel demand fueled by an emerging middle-class keen to explore the world. Guillaume Faury, the head of commercial aircraft at Airbus, has said reducing the order backlog of more than 7,100 planes is among the biggest challenges for the European maker as production fails to keep pace.
In late June, Chicago-based Boeing won two orders worth $14.4 billion. Bamboo Airways, a Vietnamese startup, signed a commitment for 20 of its twin-aisle 787-9 Dreamliners, while Vistara’s rival Jet Airways announced it was buying 75 single-aisle 737 Max jets.
CFM, GE Engines
The latest narrow-body A320neo family jets ordered by Vistara will be powered by Leap 1-A engines made by CFM International and will be delivered between 2019 and 2023. The bigger Boeing jets would be handed over in 2020 and 2021, the airline said. The Dreamliners will have General Electric Co.’s GEnx-1B turbines.
India’s largest carrier IndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., is the top customer for Airbus’s A320neo jets. Jet Airways and SpiceJet Ltd. both have more than 200 Boeing planes each on order.
Vistara, which is 51 per cent owned by local conglomerate Tata Group and offers premium services in three classes, controls just about 4 per cent of the local market -- the smallest share among all carriers with a nationwide network. It has said that its second phase of growth will be more aggressive.
The airline, which started operations in 2015, also has options to purchase seven more of the A320neo family aircraft and four more Dreamliners.