Inside Vistara’s Direct USA Flight Plans

The India-US market is all set to get its latest entrant: Vistara. In an exclusive interview with Simple Flying, Vistara COO Vinod Kannan spoke about the airline’s plans and why he sees a market for the airline. Here’s a look at the airline’s plans for the US.

Vistara 787-9
Vistara has all the ingredients for services to the US except one, the planes. Photo: Vistara

Takeoff

From its inception in 2015, Vistara has had its eye on becoming a premium, full-service international airline. Over the last six years, it has significantly grown its reaching, establishing a robust domestic network along with an ever-expanding list of regional destinations. Since 2020, despite the pandemic, the carrier has launched flights to the UK, Germany, Japan, and France.

Vistara A320neo
Vistara has been building up its international network since August 2019 with an eye on the longest routes. Photo: Airbus

However, the next big destination on the map for Vistara is the United States. After hinting at possible flights to the US last November, Vistara formally applied for DOT permission in April. This was promptly granted, beginning the regulatory process for the airline to establish commercial flights. Now, we know more about the airline’s plans for the US market.

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Coming soon

In an interview at Simple Flying’s Future Flying Forum, CEO-designate Vinod Kannan shed some light on the timeline for the first flight. Currently, the only thing holding back Vistara is the absence of its third Boeing 787-9. Boeing has been affected by an FAA delivery pause due to production issues, delaying the airline’s delivery schedule.

However, the moment the pause is lifted, expect Vistara to push ahead with launching the route, with Mr. Kannan saying,

“We will have to wait to see when we get the third aircraft before adding any additional routes because we don’t have the aircraft resources at this time. At the same time, I think as far as we are concerned, we are also working on the preparatory work, the background work, as I said, in order to be sure that we can launch as soon as we can.”

Vistara Boeing 787 Getty
The launch of US flights is closely linked to the delivery of Vistara’s third Dreamliner. Photo: Getty Images

The 787-9 has become the darling of airlines flying between North America and India. With a range of over 14,000 kilometers, these planes can fly from the east and west coast to all of India and beat other jets in terms of efficiency. Vistara plans on continuing to use the Dreamliner on its US flights, with Mr Kannan noting positive feedback for the aircraft,

“By deploying the Dreamliners we are able to operate quite efficiently to some of the biggest, most key points in the world. Not just from an operating perspective, but also economically because it is an efficient aircraft as compared to some of the others.”

Direct is the way to go

While there has been talk of Vistara operating a one-stop service from London Gatwick to Newark originating in Delhi, a direct service is more likely. This will allow Vistara to compete against the likes of United and Air India while rivaling re-entrant American. For now, keep an eye out for Vistara’s next announcement about the US.

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

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