Vistara, India’s newest full-service carrier, has identified Europe as a priority point for its international expansion, which began this month with daily flights between London and New Delhi. The Tata Group and Singapore Airlines joint venture welcomed the launch of their daily service from Heathrow to New Delhi with the announcement that a second flight that would be added as more aircrafts and slots become available.
Since going daily with its London flights at the beginning of this month, the Gurugram-based airline has been enjoying high load factors. “Internationally, we cover a total of 10 cities, London being the crown jewel which we have ramped up to a daily service this month,” Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said at a press conference at the Taj Hotel in London.
Vinod Kannan added, “For now, we are very, very happy with the route, the load factors are very strong. The average load factors are in excess of 80-85 per cent and the front-end cabins are well subscribed. If we did have the aircraft, Europe would definitely be a focus point, probably with a second London-Delhi [flight] if we get the slots, and Paris and Frankfurt would go up to daily. The US is a sector we would look at further down the line.”
Vistara, like many other airlines, is limited in its use of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners on its London route due to a lack of supply from the American aerospace major. Kannan disclosed that his airline needs six Dreamliners but is currently operating with only two, with supply discussions with Boeing underway as part of its post-pandemic development plans.
Kannan commented, “The name of the game over the last two years has been flexibility. We planned, re-planned, un-planned like every other airline because everyday things were changing, with varying requirements and necessities. But then after all that we are finally here and what matters is looking ahead, things are looking bright. We are not out of the woods, but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.”