Vistara plans to launch a handful of new routes next quarter as it approaches the end of its time as a stand-alone Indian airline, its CEO Vinod Kannan said.
The full-service carrier will deploy new aircraft that are pending delivery for mostly international routes, Kannan said at an event to mark the introduction of Vistara’s daily Delhi-Hong Kong service Monday. The inaugural flight was more than 90 per cent full and demand looks very strong throughout November, he said.
We will continue to expand internationally and we feel that demand will continue to grow. There will be two or three more new routes coming through in the first quarter of next year.
Vistara has already announced it will soon start flights to Bali from India’s capital, as well as to Frankfurt from Mumbai. Paris is another possible route from the Indian financial hub, Kannan said.
Vistara, co-owned by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines Ltd., is being merged with Air India Ltd.
Founded a decade ago, the airline is expected to gradually disappear when regulatory antitrust hurdles to the combination are cleared, with jobs, aircraft and routes being transferred to Air India. Vistara’s flight schedules will be refined once merger approvals go through, and other aspects such as uniforms, aircraft livery and airport signage updated.
The airline operates 63 aircraft, mostly Airbus SE single-aisle jets, and some Boeing Co. 787s, flying to 32 domestic and 16 overseas destinations. Kannan said international flights will account for 40 per cent of Vistara’s operations by the end of the financial year.
“The focus has been international, that is where we think we bring more value to the table,” he said.