Vistara to land in more cities, looks at South India

Airline to expand fleet, add six more aircraft by year-end

Vistara to land in more cities, looks at South India

Vistara, the newbie in the Indian skies, will jack up its services from February 16 by adding more destinations, including from South Indian cities, besides increasing frequencies to the existing ones.

The airline, the joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, is close to finalising its schedule beyond February 15, its top executives told Deccan Herald, after the launch of its Delhi-Ahmedabad flight on Saturday. Vistara began its operations with a Delhi-Mumbai flight on Friday.
Vistara had consciously decided not to squeeze itself with more number of services in this fog season, for which the schedule has been cleared by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) until February 15. The airline is operating from ‘late in the morning’ and winding up ‘early in the night’ to avoid disruptions during the fog.

With the DGCA now looking at a post-fog season schedule, Vistara is aiming at finalising its choice of destinations. At present, Vistara operates 11 services on Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Delhi, Delhi-Ahmedabad and Mumbai-Ahmedabad sectors.

“India is a big country and I can tell you that some South Indian cities will be there among the new destinations. But I can’t tell you the destinations until I have the slots,” Vistara Chief Commercial Officer Giam Ming Toh said.

“Without a doubt, we will start going to other cities. We will have more from existing (destinations) as well as new destinations,” Vistara CEO Phee Teik Yeoh said.
Though, he feels that what one now sees on schedule is just a tip of the iceberg, he refused to cite all the probable cities, which will be added to the Vistara map.

Giam Ming said that they decided to keep the operations “small” during the fog season. “We built a buffer for fog season. We can stretch the window after the fog season,” he said.

He said that one has to keep in mind the Route Dispersal Guidelines as an airline is mandated to operate a certain number of services to non-metros and under-served destinations when they operate to metros.
The airline’s fleet is also growing with two more aircraft expected by March and one by April, taking the total to six. Another three aircraft will also be added by the year-end.

On Ahmedabad being the third destination, Phee said that they will look at the potential market for deciding on it. Operating to a new destination involves a lot of factors and not a single variable that makes it work, he said.

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