How Does Vistara’s 787 Cabin Stack Up Against The Competition?

Vistara is India’s newest long-haul carrier, flying to destinations across Europe and in Asia. This has been made possible by its fleet of brand new 787-9s Dreamliners, two of which are in service while four more await delivery. So how does Vistara’s 787 stack up against the competition? Let’s find out.

Vistara, Boeing 787, Paris
Vistara is the only Indian operator of the 787-9, giving it access to long-haul routes globally. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Business class

Last month, Simple Flying was invited by Vistara to try its business class cabin on its flagship service from New Delhi to London (read the full review here!). This is a particularly crowded market, with Air India, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic all flying major networks. However, when it comes to the product, Vistara does have a few cards up its sleeve.

Vistara’s 1-2-1 reverse herringbone design ensures that all passengers have adequate privacy and direct aisle access. Moreover, the seat is wide and comfortable for long-haul journeys, providing more than enough storage bins and reclining functions throughout the flight.

IMG_3846Vistara 787-9 Business Class Seat
Vistara’s seat also looks the best compared to the aging cabins of its competitors (barring British Airways’ A350-1000). Photo: Pranjal Pande | Simple Flying

Compared to Air India’s 2-2-2 business class and Virgin’s 1-1-1 herringbone seats, Vistara’s product comes out ahead. The only competition could be British Airways’ new A350 cabin, but this is currently only flown to Bangalore, with other routes seeing the older product.

The airline is also well known for its food choices and service, both of which have not failed to disappoint. However, with service being a relative factor, we’ll keep it out of the picture for now.

Premium economy

Vistara has long branded itself as India’s first airline to offer a true premium economy (PE) product. However, that doesn’t mean the carrier doesn’t have to compete with foreign airlines like BA and Virgin, which have offered premium economy cabins for years.

Vistara’s product offers all the luxuries of a premium economy seat, with extra legroom, a generous 7″ recline, a slightly larger IFE screen, and plush leather seats. While this may not be a huge step up compared to economy, every inch of legroom counts on flights eight hours or more in the plane.

How Does Vistara’s 787 Cabin Stack Up Against The Competition?
Vistara has gone for a modern PE product that features slimline seats but uses soft materials. Photo: Vistara

There is not too much difference between Vistara, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways’ premium economy products (Air India doesn’t offer one). While Vistara’s is far more modern and user-friendly, the competition’s older seats are thicker and well-padded. Eventually, the difference comes down to service, an area where the carrier has done well historically.


The best way to judge an airline is by its economy class product, the place where most of us find ourselves on flights. Vistara’s economy seats have all the basics, offering 31″ of pitch and 5″ of recline, along with 12″ IFE screens and moveable hand rests. The 3-3-3 also layout means seat width is adequate for a long-haul flight. However, travelers have noted the lack of power sockets, with only USB ports available.

How Does Vistara’s 787 Cabin Stack Up Against The Competition?
Vistara’s economy class is comfortable and has been carefully designed to maximize space. Photo: Vistara

Overall, Vistara’s 787 cabin is no less competitive than its peers on long-haul routes. While business class and premium economy stand out for their designs, the economy product could be comparable behind as other airlines send their latest jets to India.

What do you think about Vistara’s 787 cabin? Let us know in the comments!