Vistara Reportedly Seeks Boeing 787 Crew Rest Area For Longer Flights

Vistara is reportedly in talks with Boeing to modify its incoming 787s to include a crew rest area. The area would make more long-haul routes possible with space for a backup crew and will extend the 787-9’s range. Let’s find out more about where Vistara could fly with a crew rest area.

Vistara 787-9
Some of Vistara’s remaining four 787-9s could include a crew rest area for longer routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Longer flights

According to Mint, Vistara is currently working with Boeing to possibly add crew rest areas to some of the four 787-9s remaining for delivery. This would allow the Dreamliner to fly to its maximum range and include routes to the US (East and West coast), Canada, Australia, and many more.

Vistara intends on completing its 787 order by the end of the year, which means it could have the ability to fly longer routes fairly soon. Data from Planespotters.net shows that three 787-9s have been produced (VT-TSH, -TSN, and one unregistered) and will be delivered in the coming months.

787-9 Range
Adding a crew rest would allow Vistara to fly anywhere within the 787-9s range of 7,530 nautical miles. Photo: GCMap

Using the 787-9 on ultra-long-haul routes is certainly not a novel idea. From Qantas’ Perth to London routes and American’s upcoming Bangalore to Seattle flight, the 787 can easily perform some of the longest flights in the world. On all these flights, a crew rest area is needed to house the backup pilots and cabin staff who will take over halfway through.

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Where will Vistara go?

While Vistara could fly anywhere from Auckland to Chicago, there are a few unique destinations it could be eying. The first would be direct flights to the US, which will become a possibility with a crew rest area. Routes like Delhi/Mumbai to New York or San Francisco are all popular with passengers and are seeing growing connectivity.

Vistara is also yet to expand its long-haul footprint beyond Frankfurt and London due to restrictions. This means flights to Australia could be on the cards too, especially considering there is only one direct option available (Air India). However, border closures mean routes to East Asia (Japan, China, etc.) and Australasia will be the last to reopen.

Vistara 787-9 Dreamliner
Vistara currently offers two long-haul destinations, London and Frankfurt. Photo: Getty Images

The carrier has hinted at direct US flights in the past but has never made a firm commitment to the route. Considering the current situation, it’s unlikely new ultra-long-haul flights will be added soon.

Deliveries on track

While the pandemic has impacted Vistara’s operations, the carrier remains committed to its 787 delivery schedule. All six Dreamliner’s will join the fleet by the end of 2021, the airline confirmed to Simple Flying last year. Once this order is complete, the airline will have the flexibility to add more flights and possibly even exercise its options for more 787s.

Vistara 787
Vistara offers a competitive 787 product, far ahead of Air India’s aging options on its 777 and 787s. Photo: Vistara

For now, keep an eye out for Vistara’s upcoming 787-9 deliveries. If the crew rest is added, expect to see many more unique long-haul routes in the future.

What do you think about Vistara’s plans to add a crew rest area? Will the airline find success on long-haul routes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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