Vistara has taken delivery of its first A321neo, expanding the airline’s fleet to include four types of aircraft. The A321neo will be used for international expansion, adding more medium-haul routes in the coming years. The plane also features a brand new interior, which includes 12 lie-flat business class seats, and inflight WiFi.
While Vistara is not the first airline to receive the A321neo in India, it is the first to include a three-class configuration. The airline has focused on international destinations with this plane, including a lie-flat business cabin and a new economy product.
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In business class, the plane has 12 seats, in a 2-2 layout, made by Collins Aerospace. The seats are made of leather and feature 22″ of width (with the armrest lowered) with 63″ of pitch. The bed itself offers 84″ (or 7 feet) of length, allowing everyone to stretch out.
In premium economy, seats are laid out in a 3-3 configuration, similar to those on the A320neo. The seats do have some new features, with 33″ of pitch, 4.5″ recline, and a 10″ IFE screen. All seats also include USB and power points, a first in Vistara’s premium economy. While the seats may not have seen much change, Vistara will likely invest in the soft product to make the cabin more attractive.
The economy cabin on the A321neo will have 152 seats laid out in a 3-3 configuration, with 28-29″ of pitch and a 3″ recline. All seats will also a 10″ entertainment screens along with in-seat power. These features make the seats on par with other international, full-service carriers.
In total, the plane has 188 seats, representing a relatively premium configuration. For comparison, IndiGo has 222 seats on its all-economy A321neo, which flies 7 hours to Istanbul. Vistara is pushing to place itself as India’s full-service carrier by offering a premium experience and a comfortable business class.
The delivery of the A321neo is part of Vistara’s broader international plans. While the airline has been unable to fly internationally due to the current restrictions, it remains committed to the long-term strategy. Both the 787 and A321neo will be primary aircraft on international routes, with comfortable cabins and extensive range.
With the extended capacity and range of the A321neo, the plane can fly to many popular destinations within Asia. While no official routes have been announced, possible destinations could include Moscow, according to sources. Other cities well within reach are Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh, and Istanbul.
While Vistara does not expect to fly internationally until the Q3 or Q4 of this year, it will likely rapidly increase its operations when given the chance. This reflected in the decision to take delivery of the A321neo now, with its premium configuration.
In a statement to Simple Flying, Vistara has said that the plane will remain in storage for now, pending the resumption of international flights. However, the plane could also be deployed on domestic routes if demand emerges.
Slowing down deliveries
While the delivery of the first A321neo is a development in Vistara’s fleet, the airline is looking to slow its deliveries. The airline is looking to only take delivery of three aircraft this year, a steep drop from the original plans. With the A321neo now inducted, the airline will likely take possession of one more 787 and up to two A320neos.
The pandemic has dealt a strong blow to Vistara’s ambitions, preventing it from going long-haul and expanding its reach. However, with strong financial backing, the airline will most likely weather this crisis and be ready to take on the competition on the other side.
What do you think about Vistara’s A321neo? Would you fly with them internationally? Let us know in the comments!