Vistara suspends Delhi – Tokyo service

As the world starts to open up, one airline with major international aspirations is beginning to feel the heat to an extent. Vistara, which has had aspirations to fly across the globe and create a premium carrier out of India, on the back of a fleet of 787-9 and A321 aircraft for international operations, has been opening up various routes but is struggling to keep some going.

an airplane flying in the sky

For Vistara, the FAA embargo on Boeing 787 deliveries couldn’t have come at a worse time. The airline has been adding up various routes using the Boeing 787-9 aircraft, of which they only have two right now:

Additionally, Vistara seems to be doing very well on the charter market, with more than one charter operating every week between Chennai and Seoul for the airline using the Boeing 787-9. Not to forget, they are already at an advanced stage of getting a flight launched to the US, with approvals in place and some slots also acquired (via London Gatwick)

While the airline is operating the 787-9s to full capacity, it is clear that the airline could have done with more of those aircraft, which, unfortunately, can’t come to them at this point. They are operating sub-optimally in some markets where two flights a day can’t do much for the airline to establish it as a preferred option for the long haul in these markets.

Hence, something had to give, and it has. Vistara has withdrawn from the Delhi -Tokyo service, for the time being, suspending operations to Tokyo Haneda for over a month now. Vistara launched the flight in July 2021 and operated the flight only till September 2021, with the last flight having operated on September 29, 2021.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Vistara has confirmed that they have suspended the flight on the back of low demand for now. A Vistara spokesperson said,

We’ve temporarily suspended service to Tokyo due to current demand pattern and the ongoing limitations on visitors into Japan, which is being gradually relaxed. Tokyo is an important route for us and we will review this as we have more resources.


A lack of demand and perhaps enough aircraft has caused Vistara to temporarily suspend operations on the Delhi – Tokyo segment, which was launched in July 2021 with just one frequency a week. The airline intends to return to this route as more “resources” (read aircraft?) become available in the future.

What do you make of Vistara’s suspension of Tokyo services?

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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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    • @neil, fitting out a plane to the airline’s standards is a long and expensive process, and you need to really be able to spend some long time with that product to be able to reap the benefits of a fit-out. Perhaps Vistara does not want to diminish their “appeal” for now by getting into these aircraft? Or perhaps they fathom that an uncap on the FAA ban is coming soon? There are tens of airlines in the same boat right now, all having to make hard choices. For instance, American with their route launch to Bengaluru.

  1. When is it likely that Vistara will get more aircraft’s for long haul flights? Why is there an embargo on the delivery of 787’s to Vistara? How many have they ordered?

    I intend to go to Paris in April 22 and am curious if I will be able to fly Vistara.

    • @Hemant, No idea. The embargo is on Boeing, and over a 100 787s are hence waiting in the US for delivery. Not much Vistara can do about it.

  2. Vistara requesting you to please start non-stop flights to London and Paris from Mumbai too. UAE being a very popular destination among Indians you should consider to start flying to Dubai from multiple places like Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Chennai etc.

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