India’s full-service carrier Vistara plans to focus on Europe and Asia as its ‘Phase One’ expansion, according to Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vistara. Mr. Thng was speaking at a media event following Vistara’s first flight to Singapore.
Vistara intends to make 50% of the airline’s capacity on international routes within the next five years. Australia and the United States will be considered only in Phase Two of its expansion, after covering Europe and Asia.
“We are ending the financial year soon in March 2020. The contribution of international as a percentage of ASK will still be low because we are just starting [international operations]. In next 2-3 years, I would say that in terms of ASK, domestic would be still be acquiring a larger proportion, compared to international, on the basis that we would continue to expand our domestic operations as well,” Vistara’s CEO said.
“If you extrapolate further beyond three years, and see five years down the road, we could look at 50-50% kind of contribution,” he added.
Vistara Expands Fleet with New Airbus A-321neo, Boeing 787-900 aircraft
The pace of expansion will depend upon the speed at which Vistara inducts new planes. Vistara recently added nine planes of Boeing 737 Jets which were earlier used by the now grounded Jet Airways.
In the first quarter of 2020, Vistara will also add Airbus A-321neo aircraft that can fly up to seven hours from Delhi/Mumbai. Vistara will go long-haul as soon as it gets Boeing 787-900 aircraft. These aircraft can fly for 11 hours. If the approval gets sanctioned, the first destination on receiving the aircraft will be London Heathrow. Besides, Mr. Thng hinted that Vistara is interested in conducting business with Japan.
Both Boeing 787 and Airbus A-321 will have a three-class configuration – business, premium economy and economy. Vistara may touch a fleet size of 41 by the end of December 2019.
In addition, Vistara will accelerate its frequent flyer program called ‘Club Vistara’. The programs can also be used for accommodation or even shopping.