Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan has said that the airline is in no hurry to lease the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as Boeing continues to grapple with production and delivery issues. Kannan clarified that he doesn’t want Vistara to be struck with an aircraft that cannot be used viably.
Vistara won’t rush 787 Dreamliner lease
Speaking at the 78th annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Doha, Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan provided an update on the airline’s plans to add more Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its fleet.
Vistara placed an order for six Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in 2018 but has so far taken delivery of just two. Boeing has not delivered a Dreamliner since June 2021 but is increasingly confident with 787 delivery resumption this summer.
“The last thing we want is to hurry and get stuck with an aircraft that we cannot utilize viably.”
He added that any leasing agreement for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner would be on a short-term basis as the airline awaits delivery of its own 787s.
Delays have impacted operations
Vistara has been unable to effectively expand its international operations due to the ongoing delays affecting Dreamliner deliveries.
“I would like to have it yesterday. But the facts are that these things do take time. When you come up with an RFP (Request For Proposal) for a new aircraft, there are a certain set of considerations.”
The Indian carrier has had to make do with two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The first (registration: VT-TSE) was delivered to Vistara in February 2020 before the second (VT-TSD) arrived in August. Both Dreamliners have recently been active on Vistara’s European network, flying to London, Frankfurt and Paris in the past week.
CEO Kannan said that, as much as Vistara wants to expand its capacity with the addition of new widebodies, it will prioritize getting a favorable deal.
“When you are looking into the market for aircraft that are used, you need to be looking at different parameters – what is the age of the aircraft? What are the engines’ capacities?… It is a different set of considerations with which we have to go with our eyes open.”
While its widebody fleet may be smaller than it had hoped, Vistara now has 50 aircraft in its fleet after undergoing rapid expansion in the past couple of years.
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787 deliveries likely to resume soon
After a one-year hiatus, Boeing looks set to resume 787 Dreamliner deliveries in the coming weeks. The planemaker has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on getting the plane recertified after structural faults were discovered.
Bloomberg reports that the company has reviewed the carbon-composite frames for structural imperfections with regulators and key suppliers. At the same time, an FAA official disclosed that the agency had accepted Boeing’s recertification plans.
Do you think Vistara should lease a Boeing 787 Dreamliner or look elsewhere? Which aircraft could be a viable alternative? Let us know your insights in the comments.