Vistara took delivery of its twenty-first aircraft back in June 2018. It then applied with the Government of India to fly overseas. But the approval was delayed. Vistara then went on to take one more aircraft, VT-ATV, the Vistara RetroJet.
Vistara had to utilise one aircraft which was earmarked for international operations to increase capacity on domestic routes. They introduced several new routes, some of which were seasonal, due to their available surplus capacity. Vistara finally got the nod to fly overseas in March 2019.
Owing to the current situation at Jet Airways, slots were re-distributed at Mumbai airport. Vistara has added a slew of new routes and capacity addition on existing routes from Mumbai.
This also meant that plans to fly international were put on the backburner. Vistara had placed an order for 50 A320 family aircraft and 6 787-9 in July 2018. The first A320neo will be delivered to Vistara in mid-2019 and the first 787-9 (Line number 975) will be delivered in January 2020. I already tried putting together Vistara’s international strategy of deploying the A320neo, A321neo and 787-9.
Colombo was always rumoured to be one of Vistara’s first international destinations. Now, it is confirmed that Vistara will fly daily from Delhi to Colombo with an A320neo from September 2019 when the A320neo from the new order starts getting delivered. But don’t be surprised if the plans change.
The situation at Jet Airways is fluid. Every day there is a new twist and turn. According to Bloomberg, DGCA will take a final call on 209 Jet Airways slots at Indian airports soon. We don’t know if international bilateral rights held by Jet Airways will be redistributed or not. If they will, then will it be temporarily or a permanent basis. SpiceJet and surprisingly Air India are eying Jet Airways’ Dubai rights to add more flights from Mumbai to Dubai.
I know Vistara’s international foray doesn’t depend much on Jet Airways, but it does if bilaterals are re-distributed. Any Indian airline especially a full-service carrier would naturally want to add international flights to the Middle-East, especially Dubai, and to the Far-East from Mumbai and Delhi.
It’s a wait-and-watch situation. And Vistara is also watching. Otherwise, perhaps they would have already firmed up the announcement of Delhi – Colombo flights considering how excited they are and so is everyone else.
When do you think Vistara will formally announce their international foray?