Sunday, January 13, 2019

Vistara aims to go the extra mile to make passengers smile

Vistara, a young, boutique airline in India, is seeking to make waves for its service and gracious staff. With a fleet of 22 aircraft including nine Airbus A320neos, Vistara – which is jointly owned by Tata and Singapore Airlines – has an endearing quality. Its name was drawn from the Sanskrit word Vistaar, which means “limitless expanse”.

Presented with the opportunity to try Vistara as a guest of the airline, I recently flew roundtrip between Delhi and Bhubaneswar in East India – first in premium economy and then in business class.

Check-in for the two-hour A320neo flight from Delhi’s T3 terminal was speedy, as priority check-in for premium economy travelers is facilitated. These passengers can also pay a fee to access the Vistara lounge. A piping hot breakfast was on offer when I entered.
The layout in the lounge is multi-functional with small office spaces, a bar, privacy corners and a general lounge area available to passengers. I said “hello” to the non-functioning RADA, a robot who is usually on hand to give flight information when prompted.

Now it’s time to board. As I entered the cabin, I took notice of the snug galley complex for which the A320neo is increasingly known. I am sure the crew will have some tedious moments on longer flights, but the tight space suffices for shorter hops.

The forward lav near the cockpit is big enough to move around in – a comfort attribute that Vistara management openly touts – but the two rear lavs are not as spacious.

Vistara, incidentally, is the only airline in India that offers three classes of service including a premium economy product that, in your author’s opinion, is worth the extra money as flights in India are among the most inexpensive in the world.
The dedicated premium economy cabin features 24 seats which are technically the same seat architecture as found in economy class but the padding, leather quality and recline “is superior”, I’m told, and naturally the 33” pitch offers more legroom than in economy class, which is configured with seats pitched roughly at 30”.
13/01/19 Neelam Mathews/RunwayGirlNetwork
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