LONDON – Indian carrier Vistara (UK) has confirmed that it will operate ‘special, non-stop’ flights to London Heathrow (LHR).
Services will commence on August 28, and will continue up to September 30.
The initial agreements come following the bilateral ‘transport bubble’ formed between India and the United Kingdom.
From New Delhi (DEL), the flights will operate three times per week. Such services will operate on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The equipment that the airline will use will be the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The type has 30 seats in Business Class in a 1-2-1 configuration, followed by 21 Premium Economy seats in 2-3-2.
For Economy, there will be 248 seats offered in a 3-3-3 configuration.
Comments from Vistara CEO
Leslie Thng, the CEO of Vistara commented on this service, placing emphasis on its newly received Dreamliners.
“The arrival of our second Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner further strengthens our fleet and underlines our commitment to expand globally”.
“There is an inherent need for an Indian carrier with modern fleet, world-class cabin products and onboard service to fly non-stop on long-haul routes.”
Further Expansion Ahead
The airline also said in a statement that it is seeking regulatory approvals on other destinations.
“Vistara is also seeking necessary regulatory approvals to soon operate similar special flights to Paris, France, and Frankfurt in Germany”.
Through such ‘air bubbles’, Indian carriers are now taking advantage of this to expand further afield. With Air India struggling due to heavy debts, its an opportunity to take more of a foothold in the international market.
A Competitive Road Ahead
Vistara will not just be operating flights to London. Last month, IndiGo (6E) and SpiceJet (SG) also announced intentions to start operating in the London markets.
It is understood that SG wishes to wet-lease an Oman Air (WY) Airbus A330 for these operations. As for 6E, it could be the case of approaching HiFly for wet-leasing opportunities.
Either way, it is going to make the market more competitive and may bring fares down as a result of this period. Beyond September 30, if the services are extended, then that is a big indicator of such success going forward.
A Wait and See Scenario
A ‘wait and see scenario’ will no doubt be implemented as the industry explores who will be the strongest carrier out of India. With three airlines essentially wanting a piece of the pie in the same destinations, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
For Vistara, there may be an advantage in efficiency compared to IndiGo and SpiceJet, especially with the use of the Dreamliner. In the meantime, all we can do is wait and see.
Featured Image: Vistara Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo Credit: AeroNewsX
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