Vistara to lease six of Jet Airways’ grounded Boeing aircraft

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Published: April 30, 2019 2:53:29 AM

“The recent reduction in capacity has inconvenienced travellers, especially in the full-service segment. We will continue to grow our network to meet market demand,” a Vistara spokesperson said.

Vistara, which currently operates Airbus fleet, will be leasing six Boeing 737 planes of Jet which have been deregistered by lessors.

After low-cost carrier SpiceJet, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, joint venture Vistara will induct Jet Airways’ grounded aircraft to its fleet to operate on vacant slots at Delhi and Mumbai airports.

Vistara, which currently operates Airbus fleet, will be leasing six Boeing 737 planes of Jet which have been deregistered by lessors.

The decision to have a mixed fleet is driven by the government’s decision to allot Jet-operated slots on the basis of new capacity by airlines rather than redeploying existing aircraft.

Vistara has a fleet of 22 Airbus 320 planes and had placed firm orders with Airbus last year for 13 aircraft from the A320neo family and with Boeing for six 787-9 Dreamliner worth $3.1 billion. While the delivery of Airbus fleet is scheduled to commence from second half of the current calendar year, the wide-bodied range will be inducted in 2020.

The full-service carrier is set to commence services on international routes this year. Earlier this month, it added 14 new flights on the domestic network. Vistara’s domestic market share was up 40 bps year-on-year to 4.2% during March.

Till now, SpiceJet has been the most aggressive airline in adding capacity after Jet’s closure. According to SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh, the airline will be adding around 40 aircraft, including 16 Boeing 737-800 NG, earlier operated by the now-grounded Jet. It has also hired around 1,000 employees from Jet.

The ministry of civil aviation had appointed a committee comprising regulator DGCA, airport operators and airlines to decide on slot allocation at major airports based on induction of new aircraft. The government did not want carriers to pull out capacities from less popular routes to trunk routes like Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Bengaluru.
Jet annouced temporary suspension of all operations from April 17 owing to severe cash crunch. In a recent report, analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities noted that Vistara is likely to benefit from the temporay grounding of Jet.

“While IndiGo remains the most financially stable airline, others such as SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia are also in the fray to benefit from this disruption, as these are all airlines with either decent financials or backing of strong promoters,” the analysts said.

Vistara has been hiring pilots and cabin crew of Jet and last month held interviews for Airbus and Boeing for a captain’s position.

“The recent reduction in capacity has inconvenienced travellers, especially in the full-service segment. We will continue to grow our network to meet market demand,” a Vistara spokesperson said.

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