Vistara, which already has been offering flights between Indian airports and Dubai Airport since 2019, and offered flights under the ‘Air Bubble’ Agreement with UAE from India in 2020, is now planning to launch new flights to Sharjah in 2021.
Vistara had earlier launched daily flights between Delhi and Dubai on the A321neo and was routing all the traffic during the pandemic via Delhi, instead of the BOM-DXB and DEL-DXB flights. However, in the recent past, they have scaled down their daily flights to 4x/week flights, perhaps due to reduced seat allocation for them on the India – Dubai bilateral rights which they share with Air India, IndiGo and other Indian carriers and a recent dispute on the interpretation.
India and the UAE have a unique Air Services Agreement, where separate seat allocations have been made to different Emirates. The India – Dubai seat allocation is for 66284 seats weekly in each direction, which means Emirates/FlyDubai and other designated UAE carriers in the future can fly 66284 passengers per week to India and similarly for Indian airlines.
However, to make up for it, Vistara is now planning to launch flights between Delhi/Mumbai and Sharjah in January 2021. Vistara will launch flights between Delhi and Sharjah starting January 20, 2021. The airline will operate its Airbus A320neo aircraft on this route as part of the ‘air bubble agreement’ between India and the UAE, complementing its services to/from Dubai.
Here is the schedule of flights between Delhi and Sharjah
** The above schedule is for the period 20 Jan 2021 – 27 Mar 2021
Vistara is also going to launch a Mumbai – Sharjah daily flight from January 24, 2021. Here is the schedule of this flight.
Commenting on the importance of this new route in Vistara’s network strategy, Mr Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “We continue to witness significant demand for travel between India and the UAE, and are delighted to add our second destination, after Dubai, in the country to our route map. We are determined to provide the finest flying experience and enhanced convenience to travellers to and from Sharjah and remain committed to strengthening our global presence.”
All travellers to Sharjah must have a negative RT-PCR test report, conducted not more than 96 hours before arriving at Sharjah Airport. Travellers will have to undergo another mandatory RT-PCR test upon arrival at Sharjah. Also, customers travelling to India from Sharjah must carry a negative RT-PCR test report, conducted within 72 hours before arriving in India.
This is an interesting counter development by Vistara to reduce the impact of Dubai flights. Sharjah is a 30-minutes drive from Dubai and easy to access Dubai. Vistara will offer daily flights from Mumbai and Delhi on this new route.
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