Full-service carrier Vistara plans to launch international services after the first half of this year. A venture between Tata’s and Singapore Airlines, Vistara may additionally consider starting medium and long-haul flights, depending on approvals, amid the grounding of Jet Airways.
“We see India as a growing market. we are here for the long run,” Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara said on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of airlines’ grouping IATA on Sunday.
Without providing specific details, he said the airline plans to start out international operations in the half of 2019. It had planned to launch overseas flights in the half of this year.
Currently, Vistara has over 22 planes and operates around 850 flights weekly.
Last month, the carrier declared it might take on lease four Boeing 737-800 ng aircraft and two A320 modern planes.
In 2018, Vistara placed its order for purchased and leased aircraft totaling fifty from the Airbus A320neo family, along with A321neos.
These would be for domestic yet as short and medium-haul international operations, with deliveries scheduled between 2019 and 2023.
Further, the carrier has bought six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft that are scheduled to be delivered between 2020 and 2021. These would operate long-haul international operations.
Thng said, Vistara will begin short-haul flights but would need more time for long-haul ones. “If we do get the mandatory rights, we do have an idea in place on how do we plan to operationalize it but I will not be able to share an excessive amount of detail,” he said.
According to him, the airline would look into options to deploy the right kind of aircraft provided it gets the necessary flying rights.
When asked about the possibility of advancing deliveries of planes, Thng did not give any comment. He said the airline is often talking to aircraft manufacturers on various problems.
The grounding of Jet Airways in April has resulted in vital capability reduction in the domestic market.