Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Japan Could Be Vistara's First 787 Route

Vistara has been on an international roll. This month the Indian full-service airline, owned by TATA and Singapore Airlines, started international flights by launching service to three cities – Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok – within three weeks of each other.

There may be more regional flights to come, according to the local press, but attention is shifting to Vistara next February receiving the first of six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. These will be Vistara’s first widebody aircraft, enabling it to fly further and with more passengers. Vistara is using narrowbody 737s for Singapore and Bangkok, and A320neos for Dubai.

Vistara CEO Leslie Thng is not yet saying exactly where the 787s will fly, but gave two large hints. First, the markets Vistara is considering are Europe and Northeast Asia, Thng told Flightglobal. Second, Thng said it was likely Vistara would fly the 787 to a market where Vistara has a partner airline that can help provide connections and sell the flight.
Two of Vistara’s four codeshare partners – Singapore Airlines Group and United Airlines – are outside Europe and Northeast Asia. That leaves two partners: British Airways and Japan Airlines.

The India-Europe market is undergoing re-adjustment after the collapse of Jet Airways. Jet’s exit largely facilitated, and necessitated, Vistara’s rapid short-haul expansion. Vistara is even flying Jet’s former aircraft.
While Jet’s collapse provides opportunity, Gulf superconnector airlines – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – make for strong competition between India and Europe. Gulf carriers can provide one-stop service from many Indian cities to dozens of European cities. A Vistara flight from India to Europe would connect India with just one European city, even if that city is a popular one like London, where British Airways is based.

Europe may become more competitive if India’s largest airline, LCC IndiGo, starts low-cost India-Europe flights. IndiGo received slots for London Gatwick airport, but decided not to fly there.

That leaves Japan – and it is a strong consideration. The Japan-India market is growing. Indian visitors to Japan increased 15% in 2018 and grew a further 15% in the first half of 2019, according to JNTO figures. Air India next month is starting non-stop flights to Osaka Kansai, replacing an existing service that had to share traffic as it connected through Hong Kong. Air India already flies non-stop to Tokyo. Jet Airways did not serve Japan.
28/08/19 Will Horton/Forbes
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment