Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l) is planning to add more B787s to expand into Europe and the United States as its parent Singapore Airlines Group looks to exert more competitive pressure on the Gulf carriers, Bloomberg has reported.

The Indian full-service carrier, a 51/49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines Group, is still in the early stages of planning its proposed acquisition, sources close to developments told the news wire. The exact size of the potential order will, however, be predicated on, among others, the airline's ability to acquire slots at London Heathrow, they said.

Vistara currently has six B787-9s on firm order from Boeing but expects to take additional units from lessors, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. The first two B787s are scheduled to deliver in February and March 2020. The airline has yet to confirm their initial routes but it is understood that it is studying various options for serving London as a matter of priority.

However, sources told Bloomberg that the aircraft would not be suitable for flights to the United States due to the lack of a crew rest area.

Vistara is also evaluating adding more A320neo Family aircraft, including A321-200neo(XLR)s. The carrier currently operates thirteen A320-200s, nineteen A320-200neo, and eight B737-800s taken over from Jet Airways. The B737-800s are being retired as the A320neo deliveries progress. Vistara is due to take its first A321neo shortly.

Gulf carriers are currently the major foreign players in India. While a lot of their traffic is related to migrant workers from India heading to the Gulf area, they also serve passengers connecting via their hubs to Europe and the United States. According to the ch-aviation capacities module, Emirates currently has a 7.3% market share by capacity on international routes from India (trailing only behind LCC IndiGo Airlines and Air India). Etihad Airways has a 3.7% market share, Oman Air - 3.2%, and Qatar Airways - 2.9%.