Vistara, which is one of the two full-service carriers operating in India, and the only private full-service carrier in the Indian aviation industry, has decided to drop the Premium Economy and the Business class seats on some of its routes. Vistara has announced that it would be doing away with Premium Economy and Business class seats in some of its aircraft which will be flying on low-income routes, as per a Business Standard report. It is worth noting that Vistara is jointly owned by the India based Tata Sons and the Singapore International Airlines (SIA).
Economy Only Aircraft to be Deployed in Tier-II Routes
Another thing to note here is that Vistara had placed an order for 50 Airbus A320neos and the medium-haul aircrafts A321neos. Out of these 50 aircraft which Vistara has ordered from Airbus, 10 will come with economy only configuration. As a result of this, all-economy configuration on its flights, the aircraft will have 164 instead of 180 seats. Usually, in a three-cabin aircraft with Premium Economy and Business class seats, Vistara is only able to provide 164 seats in total.
A Vistara spokesperson remarked about this, “The all-economy aircraft tends to be deployed on routes with weaker demand for front cabins or on seasonal leisure routes. We may have a few such aircraft in the future to serve these routes… However, aircraft configuration is not to be confused with the business model. Service delivered across our fleet will be full-service, regardless of the configuration.”
Full-Service Carriers Struggling in India
The full economy configuration of aircraft will help Vistara in catering to more budget passengers. In India, where low-cost carriers are more favoured over the full-service carriers, carriers like Vistara are struggling to maintain market share. As per the data furnished by DGCA in November 2019, approximately 82% of the air passengers are flying low-cost carriers like IndiGo which boasts of having 47% market share in the Indian aviation industry. On the other hand, full-service carriers like Vistara and Air India have 5.9% and 12.1% market share.