India’s Vistara places $3.1 billion order with Airbus, Boeing

Vistara said it would use the new planes to boost its domestic network and support its international operations, which are scheduled to start later this year. (Courtesy Vistara Facebook)
Updated 11 July 2018
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India’s Vistara places $3.1 billion order with Airbus, Boeing

MUMBAI: India’s newest airline Vistara said on Wednesday it had ordered 19 jets from Boeing and Airbus for a combined $3.1 billion as it prepares to launch international flights.
As the country enjoys a boom in air travel owing to its growing middle class, airlines are rapidly expanding their fleets to capture a slice of the market.
Vistara, a joint venture between Indian conglomerate Tata and Singapore Airlines, said it would buy six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 13 planes from Airbus’s fleet of A320neo and A321neo aircraft.
“These orders are a landmark step in Vistara’s journey and demonstrate our deep-rooted commitment to contributing to the rise of the Indian aviation industry and to offering more choices to our customers,” chief executive Leslie Thng said in a statement.
The company, which began operating in 2015, added that it had also agreed to hire another 37 Airbus A320neos from leasing companies.
Vistara said it would use the new planes to boost its domestic network and support its international operations, which are scheduled to start later this year.
In April, Indian airline Jet Airways said it had entered an agreement to buy 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in a deal that could be worth more than $7 billion.
There has been a six-fold increase in passenger numbers in India over the past decade as customers take advantage of better connectivity and cheaper fares thanks to a host of low-cost airlines.


Japan, EU sign landmark trade deal

Updated 17 July 2018
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Japan, EU sign landmark trade deal

  • Both sides are heralding the deal, which covers a third of the global economy and more than 600 million people
  • Besides the latest deal with the EU, Japan is working on other trade agreements, including a far-reaching trans-Pacific deal
The EU and Japan signed a sweeping free trade deal Tuesday that officials called a “clear message” against protectionism, as Washington imposes controversial tariffs and threatens a trade war.
The deal signed in Tokyo by the EU’s top officials and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the biggest ever negotiated by the EU and creates a free trade zone covering nearly a third of the world’s GDP.
“We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism,” EU Council President Donald Tusk said.
“Together we are making — by signing this agreement — a statement about free and fair trade, we are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together,” added Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker.
The huge deal was signed as President Donald Trump unsettles allies and provokes rivals with his aggressive “America First” trade policy.
Both the EU and Japan have been hit with new US tariffs despite their longstanding alliances with Washington.
Juncker said the deal sent a message that “trade is about more than tariffs and barriers, it is about values.”
“There is no protection in protectionism,” he said.
Abe, standing alongside the two EU officials, said the agreement, “shows the world the unshaken political will of Japan and the EU to lead the world as the champions of free trade at a time when protectionism has spread.”