Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Vistara to Add 12 Aircraft Next Year

Despite the slowdown in India’s aviation sector, Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture Vistara will add 12 aircraft next year to supplement a fleet of 41 by this year-end, with which it aims to create a unique hub and spoke arrangement linking its domestic and international operations, chief executive Leslie Thng said in an interview to Mint.

The fleet expansion will see the induction of planes like Boeing 787-9 (Dreamliner), Airbus A320 and A321 into the airlines fleet, which will be utilized across its domestic and international operations. In aviation, a hub is a central airport that flights are routed through, and spokes are the routes that planes take out of the hub airport.

Vistara, whch is a full-service airline, will start medium and long haul international services from next summer after it takes delivery of two Boeing 787-9 planes by March 2020. The airline plans to add destinations to Europe, including London, as well as Japan to its network. It also aims to add several neighboring countries in the region, wherein travelers often look for direct connections to various Indian cities.

"Domestic operations play two roles for us. One is catering to the full service demand and second is catering to the international operations, especially on the wide body," Vistara’s Thng said. “Other airlines will not be able to replicate this in India as they focus on a mix (of) nationalities. But, our product is primarily for Indians," Thng said.

He said their business model will allow passengers within India to travel abroad through Delhi or Mumbai as well as from overseas to within the country. To strengthen the linkage between domestic and international network, Vistara has entered into discussions with a number of foreign airlines. It already has a code share arrangement with United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and an inter-line arrangement with the Lufthansa group.
27/11/19 Rhik Kundu/AviationPros
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