Vistara takes delivery of their first Airbus A321neo, with flatbeds for business-class

In 2018, Vistara had placed an order for 50 Airbus aircraft, including a mix of owned and leased A320/A321neo aircraft. Today, Vistara received its first Airbus A321neo, an aircraft it had picked for regional international operations, such as those to Singapore, and perhaps to open up Hong Kong amongst other markets. The Airbus A321neo aircraft are intended for use on short to medium-haul international routes or destinations within seven hours of flying time.

The first aircraft arrived in Delhi this morning from the Airbus’ production facility in Hamburg, Germany. This addition makes Vistara the first airline in South Asia to offer fully lie-flat beds on a narrowbody aircraft and one of the few such airlines across the world.

Featuring Vistara’s three-class cabin configuration, the aircraft has a total of 188 seats – 12 in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 152 in Economy. All of them feature 4-way adjustable headrests and movable armrests. Vistara customers will enjoy seat-back entertainment and in-seat power/USB Charging Ports in every seat.

The airline’s In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system, developed by Panasonic, features a content-rich multimedia library that total up to 700 hours of content, a superior map experience with a 3D flight path map and flight tracker. The aircraft is also equipped with wireless connectivity, which will allow passengers to access the internet through onboard Wi-Fi, 3G mobile data through GSM and GPRS for SMS and MMS services, subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

Vistara’s CEO, Leslie Thng said, “This new addition to our fleet reinforces our long-term commitment to international expansion plans, despite the challenges of the current times. The new cabin products on our A321neo aircraft truly complement our promise of providing a premium and world-class flying experience to travellers from and to India.” He further added, “The A321neo aircraft ensures operational enhancement, cost-effectiveness as well as reduction of the carbon footprint for us while enabling extra payload capacity, greater fuel efficiency and higher range. All of these aspects perfectly align with our international growth strategy.” 

Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus, said, “In these challenging times, differentiation through efficiency, product and customer mindset is what truly matters, and we are proud to see our A321neo as an essential cornerstone in meeting Vistara’s strategic objectives for the future,” He further went on to say, “Providing a competitive edge through India’s best in class business cabin as well as significant advantages in terms of operations, efficiency and environment are a truly wise way for a growing airline going forward.”

Vistara’s fully-flat Business Class on the A321neo

Vistara’s Business Class seats on the A321neo are upholstered in genuine leather that reclines into fully-flat beds and are organised into 2-2 configuration, making sure everyone gets either a window or aisle. The seat pitch is 63″ and when stretched out as a bed, it turns into an 84″ bed (82.19″ in some rows). The bed is 20.05″ wide, and when you drop the armrests, it goes to 22.4″. Each Business Class seat will have a four-way headrest, headset hook, cocktail table, reading light and a coat hook. Seats were supplied by Collins Aerospace.

Vistara’s Premium Economy Class on the A321neo

Vistara’s Premium Economy on the A321neo will have 24 seats in a 3-3 configuration, again supplied by Collins Aerospace. The seat pitch of 33″ makes it comfortable for longer haul journeys. If you won’t feel like napping on your overnight journey, you get yourselves a 10″ seatback IFE as well, and a USB port and a 3-pin charging point in every seat.

Vistara’s Economy Class on the A321neo

Vistara’s Economy cabin on the A321neo will have 152 seats in a 3-3 configuration, supplied by Collins Aerospace. The seat pitch will be of 28″-29″ . If you won’t feel like napping on your overnight journey, you get yourselves a 10″ seatback IFE as well, and a USB port and two 3-pin charging points shared amongst three seats.

Vistara’s A321neo aircraft are powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines that reduces noise footprint by nearly 50%. The A321neo aircraft are at least 20% more fuel efficient per seat than the previous generation aircraft with the new technology engines and new aerodynamics of the wings (sharklets). The aircraft also has an increased operating range due to an additional Centre Tank installed in the Aft Cargo compartment, which increases fuel capacity by 2300 kgs.

Bottomline

With the newly delivered A321neo, Vistara has raised the bar, again, on a premium product for a premium market. Vistara’s long term strategy is to match the right aircraft with the right market, and when international operations resume, we should see Vistara putting the A321neos on the Singapore leg, allowing them to operate the mission with the right number of people and also allowing people on the overnight flights an opportunity to sleep.

All Vistara aircraft for international operations will also have wifi capabilities, so if you would likely be heading for a work meeting and want to upload your presentation before you arrive, you should be able to do that as well here on.

What do you think of the new Vistara A321neo aircraft?


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Comments

  1. 28-29 inches in Economy sounds rough for what is supposed to be a premium carrier! Combined with super thin seats with hardly any padding and a flimsy pillow, you are on a one way trip to getting backpain and sciatica on any sector longer than 90 minutes.

    I’m really disappointed. This plane has so much potential … similar to how Qatar uses their A320s on regional / new sectors!

  2. The rationale behind the 29 inch seat pitch clearly is to convince people to trade up to premium exonomy.

    Vistara seems to have an unrelenting commitment to its premium economy product and yet strangely seem unsure where to position it even after nearly 5 years of operations.

    Premium economy on Vistara is essentially a bundled economy plus product with priority ground. I haven’t really been able to find any meaningful in the soft product.

    If Vistara truly believed in the potential of premium economy, they could have created a euro business style product with business class catering and a vacant middle seat with 2 inches extra legroom particularly on the medium haul legs the A321neo is mandated for.

    Clearly, however they aren’t convinced that the yield potential is viable even in a flexi cabin format.

    Which begs me to ask the question that why cant vistara simply unbundle the product and cross sell extra legroom seating, priority ground and perhaps even upgraded catering separately? The ancilliary revenues may well potentially be more financially lucrative then investing additional marketing budgets, hiring extra crew for a premium economy cabin occupied by cheap or free upgrades and a packed economy cabin full of suffocated passengers.

    But the biggest cost to Vistara would be tarnishing the brand equity they have heavily invested in building.

    From an end consumer stand point, they have ended up with uncompetitive premium economy and economy products simply because Vistara is trying to force customers to buy into a product that they don’t want!

    A classic case of behavioral economics gone very wrong!

    • @Aman clearly you haven’t read before you commented. There is a 4-5″ extra leg space in Premium Economy over Economy on the A321s. 33″ legroom is the industry standard in PEY.

      PEY on Vistara domestic is also not just bundled Economy with priority ground. It comes with better meal service and more baggage allowance, and even better seats, in case you haven’t noticed, so I wonder with an already superior product than economy why would they want to create a Euro-style biz class and keep seats empty. Which airline wants to fly with middle-seats empty?

      Everything you suggest is pointing towards making a more complicated mix and match decision, something which vistara has already clubbed together to make the PEY. And what brand equity tarnishing are you talking about? I mean I think you are confusing them with someone else? The airline has had great success pre-pandemic with the PEY product, which costs a bit more than economy but is good enough for many people who don’t have the money to fly J or the budget/company approvals to fly J.

      • Hello Ajay-
        I am talking about Vistara’s standard economy product which is about 31 inches. Indeed it is 4-5 inches from an ultra low-cost economy seat (the kind you would find on Spirit, EasyJet) etc- so yes you are right if that’s your benchmark.

        Secondly, the soft product differentiation in Vistara is minimal. Having an extra dessert hardly qualifies as a valid differentiation for a premium economy product at least in my opinion.

        Thirdly, the true success of Vistara’s premium economy is not based on load factors but yields- I don’t think the complimentary op ups and the flea-market optiontown upgrades were the results that Vistara was hoping for when they launched premium economy.

        Last but certainly not the least- everyone is entitled to an opinion and if you have enabled a comments section perhaps you may wish to consider being more tolerant versus being confrontational.

        It’s akin to me speculating that this piece reads like a paid advertorial sponsored by Vistara- but again that’s solely my opinion and not necessarily fact. So calm down, relax and chill!

        • @Aman now that you specify on a new product post that your commentary was all on the domestic product which can’t be figured on the original post, another factor at least the first lot of A320neos had was the padded seating which was much better than the one at the back. Yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and as for you speculating on this being a paid advertorial, I wish I was getting paid as you would like to believe, but this is not paid as you are speculating 🙂

        • “Last but certainly not the least- everyone is entitled to an opinion and if you have enabled a comments section perhaps you may wish to consider being more tolerant versus being confrontational.”

          Aman – agree with you there. Ajay – not to sound like a broken record or go on about it, but what Aman has said does come across in your comments section. I have pointed it out earlier as well.
          While in some cases where its a clear case of trolling, your response is fair enough – in other cases such as this where I thought Aman wrote a nice comment, your response did not come across as tolerant.

          I’ll say the same thing – calm down, relax and chill!

  3. The business sure class looks amazing, but they’ve definitely compromised on the other 2 classes- economy seat pitch is less than indigo’s, and premium economy minus the extra few inches of legroom looks exactly the same as economy and there’s zero difference in hard product sadly. Even on their a320neos the premium economy seats though in a 3×3 config look as luxurious as biz class and a definite step up from economy but here on international flights it’s nothing more than a difference in colour, making it more like indigo xl or airasia hot seats than a different class. And ofc the curtain separation between economy and pe doesn’t just look cheap but makes it incredibly annoying and uncomfortable for the first row economy passengers and possibly even last row pe passengers…..don’t think it would’ve taken too much of anything to install a more sturdy cabin separator instead. Still, a good aircraft and can’t wait to see it deployed

  4. Great for the Bom/Del to Singapore/HK market, especially in Biz class. ofcourse, comes down to pricing vs SQ/CX on how much they can steal share.

    But economy is a total killer for a 6 foot guy like me. 29 is just not doable on overnight flights. Will go for CX and SQ which atleast offer 30 (or above, depending upon aircraft).

    i think PE will come into play basis on pricing. for a good price, sure, it might be worth the extra legroom.

    Overall, exciting development and look forward to flying again soon! 🙂

  5. VISTARA flights are India’s No 1Air crafts Must Comfortable seat and Cabin crews services is Exllent ✈️✈️✈️

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