Vistara’s plans ahead: IFE & flights to USA/Europe

Vistara is perhaps one of the most keenly watched airline in India in a long while, all because they are the only new full-service carrier to have launched in the past few years in India. One of their innovation is the launch of a Premium Economy class, which I consider an Economy+ category.

Now, I’ve reviewed the first flight of Vistara as well, and gone into the details of their frequent flyer program over and over again.

However, two new pieces of information have emerged about their plans over the weekend. Firstly, the SimpliFlying blog reports that Vistara is almost ready to make an announcement on provision of Inflight Entertainment on their domestic segments:

There will also be an imminent announcement on In-Flight Entertainment, within the next 1-2 weeks. We are very excited by it because it is something new, something which is not offered in India at the moment. In the long term, we feel it can lead to a lot more possibilities.

While the airline itself has not commented on how will they offer IFE, the blog hazards a guess that this will be wi-fi based IFE. We’ll see how that goes.

Another news item doing the rounds today is on the Times of India network, where the airline talks about its international plans. It states:

Termed “Plan B”, the airline is eyeing long-haul flights to the west – US and Europe – when the government abolishes the current rule that a local airline must be five-year old and have a fleet of 20 planes to fly overseas.

Further, the CCO comments:

Almost 70% of India’s outbound traffic is west-bound. US will be interesting for us, especially routes like New York and Washington. America has Open Sky with India. Once 5/20 goes and the US Federal Aviation Administration upgrades the Indian directorate general of civil aviation, we will like to go there. Many cities in Europe will also be interesting for us. Indian carriers are underutilizing their flying rights for overseas destinations.

I’d say this is an interesting strategy, and maybe giving the other two airlines from India who fly abroad a little bit of a headache right now, since the aspirations of Vistara clearly seem to be focussed on making it big and not just being a marginal player in India’s civil aviation.

Do you think Vistara will go long haul anytime soon?

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About Ajay

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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  1. @ Shane: Aren’t the Air India ones Terrible Teens? 😉 They are pretty heavy from what I remember, one of the earliest frames which turned out to be heavier than estimates before they pared them down.
    Plus, what use is them overweight birds when they hamper payload and range if they’re to be used to UK/US?

  2. If I had to take a guess, Vistara will order A321NEOLR, and feed TK at Istanbul from anything in the northern half of India. Or maybe they get some 330/787 from SQ and feed FRA/MUC. But I highly doubt they will do US nonstop, cause it’s expensive to operate 16 hour flights.

    I always found it surprising that most India demand is westbound. Did Indians just ignore Asia then (except for Singapore)? Not to forget also anything eastbound is already covered by parent SQ.

  3. India has a rule that an airline cannot fly international within 5 years of starting their operation. So how do they intend to go around this rule?

  4. Their choice of aircraft for long haul will be the most fascinating for me.
    Aircrafts with long range and not-so-large capacity will be ideal for the routes you mentioned, so a 787 or a 350 will be the most ideal scenario for Vistara. However, both these aircraft slots are booked for 5 years +.
    I guess a 330NEO could make sense as well.

    Whats your opinion on this one Ajay?

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