Vistara’s newly delivered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is all set to begin its first commercial service. Initial deployment will be on the busy domestic route between Delhi and Mumbai, beginning tomorrow afternoon. These shorter flights are for crew familiarization, after which the airline is hoping to be able to reveal details of its first long-haul services.
Details of the launch
Vistara has proudly announced the start of commercial operations of its shiny new 787 Dreamliner will begin tomorrow. The airline has scheduled the very first commercial flight of the 787-9 from Delhi to Mumbai on the 19th March, a route we predicted to see early on as the airline undertakes crew familiarization flights.
The Dreamliner will continue to work on the domestic route for what the airline calls a ‘limited period of time’, in order to undertake crew training and to get to know the aircraft. Once this is complete, it will begin working on long haul routes.
Right now, the only flights available to book on the Dreamliner are as follows:
From Delhi: Flight UK 933 on the 19th and 20th March. Flights are scheduled to depart Delhi at 15:50 local time, with an arrival time into Mumbai of 17:40.
From Mumbai: Flight UK 996 on the 19th and 20th March. Flights are scheduled to depart Mumbai at 18:40 each day, with a scheduled arrival time of 20:50 back into Delhi.
This means that the very first commercial flight of the Vistara Dreamliner can be witnessed at Delhi Airport at 15:30 tomorrow. The turnaround time between takeoff and landing at Mumbai is just one hour. As such, it’s going to have to be a fairly slick operation to get a widebody cleaned and restocked in time for the return flight. A good way for Vistara to put its crew through their paces ahead of an international launch.
Why only two rotations?
Vistara has only published these two rotations as being available to book. However, the airline said in a press release sent to Simple Flying that the schedule for subsequent flights would be finalized progressively.
As such, we can expect to see it on the DEL-BOM route several more times in the coming weeks, as different crew hop into their training and work to get familiar with the new addition. Those hoping to catch one of these domestic widebody flights in India are advised to keep a close eye on announcements over the next week.
Once enough training has been undertaken, it is expected that Vistara will begin to announce international destinations for the aircraft. We previously speculated that it would look to the Asian market first, perhaps to Singapore to tie up with its SIA owners, or to Japan to make the most of its expanded codeshare with JAL. The UK is also expected to be key, but as yet no announcement has been made.
Clearly, right now is not the best time to launch any international services of any shape or form. For this reason, it’s unlikely Vistara will be keen to reveal its long haul plans until the current crisis is under control. Just today, Taiwanese startup Starlux has had to suspend operations due to the travel demand slump, so to ensure the best chance of success, we expect Vistara will hold off for a few months more.
The Dreamliner, registered VT-TSD, was delivered to Vistara on the 28th of February. It’s the first of six to be delivered to the airline, and features 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy and 248 seats in economy.
Will you try and catch the domestic flights of Vistara’s (and India’s) first 787? Let us know in the comments.