Vistara May Resume International Flights By Year-End

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Vistara, full-service carrier and a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines may resume international flight service by the end of this year, as per a senior official of the airline.

The airline is planning to resume international flight operations by the third or fourth quarter of the year, Vinod Kannan, the chief commercial officer at the airline, said on Monday.

“(The) United Kingdom is definitely on our cards as well,” Kannan said adding that the airline is reviewing a decision on adding flights to the country.

International flight services are still suspended by the Indian government till 31 July due to the rising number of the Covid-19 cases.

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However, Kannan said that it may take a few months for ‘normalcy’ to return to air travel as several states continue to impose entry restrictions due to the rising number of covid-19 cases.

Domestic traffic continues to be directional as secondary cities (tier one and two cities) continue to register good demand, Kannan said adding that this has prompted the airline to add flights on routes like Mumbai and Patna.

He said that “Vistara is currently flying about 35 to 40 flights during the weekday, which rises to about 45 to 50 flights per day during the weekend,”

Vinod Kannan, the chief commercial officer at the airline

He further added that the airline is operating at about a 25-30% of its capacity, below the 45% capacity threshold set by the government.

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“It’s a tough phase for everyone. We are maintaining pricing on certain routes, where we can,” he added.

The restricted recommencement of domestic air traffic with some states imposing additional restrictions is however unlikely to help the aviation industry to recover the ground lost during the current year, rating agency ICRA said in a report last week.

Domestic passenger traffic will register a reduction of 41%-46% during 2020-21, as compared to the previous year while international traffic is expected to reduce 67%-72% during the same period, according to ICRA.

Meanwhile, Vistara said that 66% of its customers will fly with the airline within the next six months, quoting a survey conducted by the company involving 6,000 of its passengers.

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“20% of the survey respondents planned to take their next flight to a destination outside of India. Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Dubai were named most often as the destinations for the respondents’ next international trip, followed by the United States and Thailand,” the airline added.

(Source – Live Mint)


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