Vistara – the TATA SIA joint venture is making some big moves! The airline announced international commercial flights with its wide body aircraft – two of which are now delivered and in India. The airline will fly to London Heathrow starting this month end. The first of the B787-9 had landed in India in February 2020 and the second one landed this month. The airline could not pursue its plans of International expansion the way it had planned due to lock down and current pandemic.
The airline has finally announced its first international wide body route. In line with my prediction earlier, the airline will fly to London Heathrow. London Heathrow’s website had already listed out Vistara flights and in the previous blog I had written about being skeptical on the start date.
The airline will start operations between New Delhi and London from 28th August 2020. The flights would be operated by three class B787-9 Dreamliner (Know more about Vistara B787-9) and would operate as per below timings
UK015 DEL0215 – 0655LHR
UK016 LHR1535 – 0415 (+1)DEL
The airline will operate the flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and would operate until 30th September 2020.
The Delhi – London route has been one of the most sought after routes for carriers in India and the United Kingdom. The bilateral rights allow 56 weekly frequencies between London Heathrow – Mumbai / Delhi. Other airports in the London area are not restricted and same is the case for other routes between India and the UK.
These flights are part of the Air Bubble arrangement which India has come up with. Traditionally the India – UK sector has seen Air India and British Airways as the long term carriers with Indian side having seen flights by Air Sahara, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines in the past. For the last ten years, Virgin Atlantic has flown to New Delhi, while its operations to Mumbai have seen mixed results. There was a huge vacuum post fall of Jet Airways in this sector. The airline is seeking approvals for flights to Paris and Frankfurt.
These slots typically do not come with historicity and the airline has already seen its slots rejected for Winter Schedule 2020. However, like I was sure about the airline getting slots at London Heathrow in the past, I remain confident that the airline would continue the operations into winter schedule with Daily flights as and when the market situation improves.
The airline has a fleet of 41 aircraft, comprising A320ceo, A320neo, A321neo, B737-800 and the B787-9 Dreamliner.