MIAMI – Vistara Airlines (UK) is set to increase frequencies to Goa and London Heathrow (LHR) amid rising demand. The airline plans to add two-weekly flights from Delhi to Goa and an additional weekly flight on the Mumbai to Goa route, officials have said.

Goa sees an influx in tourist year on year every winter season.“We’re currently operating 9x weekly flights between Delhi and Goa, and 10x weekly flights between Mumbai and Goa,” Vinod Kannan, UK Chief Commercial Officer told the

“Considering the encouraging response on these sectors, we plan to increase it to 11x weekly flights between Delhi/Mumbai and Goa in the winter schedule starting 25 October 2020,” he added.

The coastal state of Goa of foreign travelers from Russia and Britain all enjoying the much-needed winter sun. Since August 28, UK has been using its flagship state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its new Delhi–London route. The flights have now been re-timed (effective October 25) to run a more efficient service to enable passengers to connect onto onward flights, including Goa.

New Delhi: TATA SAI Airlines Ltd. Chairman Bhaskar Bhat (2L) with Vistara CEO Leslie Thng (2R) pose for photographs during the launch of Vistara Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, in New Delhi, Monday, March 2, 2020. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)

Flight Schedule

Kannan said The airline will operate five weekly flights to Delhi from November 21 instead of the current four weekly operated. UK then plans a daily service from December 1. The increase in frequency is linked to the ever-increasing demand and positive feedback on these routes.

“We do expect travel to further pick up, especially around the festive season in India; however, customers’ considerations will still largely depend on health and safety measures and streamlining of quarantine requirements,” he said. The aviation minister had also recently said that airline traffic and demand for domestic travel is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of 2020.

Photo: Boeing

India’s Open Skies

India has resumed its domestic services since May 25 after a two-month gap amid the current global crisis. Airlines in India are allowed to operate up to 60% of their domestic pre-COVID level services. Kannan added that in UK’s customer survey concluded in June, 65% of the respondents expected to take their next Vistara flight before December.

“This gives us confidence as we continue to monitor passenger demand and scale up our operations in a calibrated manner,” Kannan said.

International flights have currently been postponed since March 23 due to COVID-19. However, due to the current air bubble agreement in place flights are allowed to operate between India and the UK. Airlines of both countries can operate special passenger flights to each other’s territories under certain restrictions.

Featured image: Vistara taking off from London Heathrow. Photo: Frankie Saaid. Article: Chris Buckett