Vistara to not order new planes ahead of Air India merger

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Vistara will not place new plane orders while it awaits regulatory approval to merge with Air India but that will not stop the airline from adding more international routes to boost profits, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The carrier, a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and India’s Tata Sons, will receive its pending order for 17 aircraft by the end of 2024, taking its total fleet to 70 planes, Reuters reported.

“We have not looked at any orders beyond that,” Vinod Kannan told reporters.

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“There has been the announcement about the merger and integration with Air India. Once we have approval from the relevant authorities … we will have to sit down together with Air India as a joint entity to see what we do,” he said.

But Vistara’s expansion will continue and the airline is “not going to scale back” because of the integration, he added.

Tata said in November it was merging its two full-service carriers – Air India and Vistara – to create a bigger airline to take on local rivals like IndiGo as well as Middle Eastern carriers that dominate outbound traffic from India.

Tata is also expected to announce on Friday a new plane order of some 495 aircraft for Air India, Reuters reported, as it looks to revamp the airline under its ownership.