Vistara will launch a new Doha service later this month, adding its second Middle East destination. The new route will operate twice a week between Delhi and Doha, in a bid to capitalize on business and expatriate travel. Adding Doha means that Vistara will be in direct competition with interline partner Qatar Airways and low-cost giant IndiGo.
Vistara is slowly expanding its international footprint in the last few months, adding high-traffic destinations. Doha will mark the airline’s second Middle East route, after Dubai, and flights will operate under Qatar and India’s recent travel bubble agreement. Flights start on November 19th and operate twice-weekly. The schedule, in local times, is as follows:
- Delhi to Doha: 20:00 – 21:45 (Thursday, Sunday)
- Doha to Delhi: 22:45 – 05:10 (Thursday, Sunday)
Doha is home to hundreds of thousands of Indian expatriates, providing business and leisure traffic on the route. With travel slowly opening up, Vistara is hoping to tap into the market and capture some pent-up demand. However, the route is quite competitive, with multiple airlines flying direct services.
Since the flight is currently under the travel bubble agreement, the schedule is only valid until 31st December. However, we will likely see the service continue beyond that date.
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Vistara has long set its self apart by its full-service model and three-class cabin configuration. As the only airline on the route with a premium economy cabin, the airline might find itself a niche of travelers. Ticket pricing reflects the competition on the route, with Vistara hoping to draw economy and business class passengers with competitive fares.
Round-trip economy tickets from Delhi to Doha are priced at ₹15,499 ($209), premium economy at ₹26,000 ($350), and business class at ₹52,000 ($700). Doha to Delhi round-trip prices are 10-15% lower across cabins, likely to be more competitive.
Vistara will be joining Air India, IndiGo, and Qatar Airways on the Delhi-Doha route, making it a highly competitive one. While Air India only flies a handful of services, IndiGo and Qatar Airways (who are also codeshare partners) each fly multiple weekly flights along with numerous connecting options.
Looking at fares in November, IndiGo and Air India roundtrip flights cost around ₹14,500 ($195), slightly lower than Vistara’s planned fare. Qatar Airways’ business class, however, costs drastically more than Vistara’s prices.
Vistara is slowly expanding its international destinations once again, adding Dhaka and London in the last few months as well. The airline is also growing its fleet, with all six 787s due to join service by next year and more A320 deliveries. However, Vistara can expect stiff competition and low traffic due to the crisis as it joins new markets.
Have you flown with Vistara before? Which carrier would you potentially fly on the Delhi-Doha route? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!