Vistara wants to add the USA to its route map. The carrier applied to the US Department of Transportation for a “Foreign Air Carrier permit to conduct foreign scheduled and charter air transportation of persons, property, and mail.” The carrier hopes to launch service as soon as September 2021, assuming approval is granted.
Vistara did not mention specific route(s) planned for operation. It did, however, state that the existing 787 fleet would be used for the service.
Read More: Flight Report: Vistara’s domestic 787 experience
The carrier currently schedules the 787-9 fleet to Frankfurt and London. Paris was also tipped as a destination, though it has not yet been scheduled.
Vistara also operated domestic routes in recent months, though the resurgence of COVID-19 in India has caused all carriers to drastically scale back passenger operations.
SpiceJet recently received approval for a similar application.
Unlike Vistara, however, SpiceJet would use wet-leased aircraft should it launch the routes. It does not operate any planes directly with the range to serve the US nonstop from India. Vistara’s 787s should have little difficulty making the trip non-stop.
Read More: Vistara takes delivery of first 787-9, plans long-haul expansion
Vistara’s long-haul operations offer three classes of service on board, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy. Given the partial ownership and management stake it should not come as too much of a surprise to learn that the Vistara 787 interior is very, very similarly fitted to that of Singapore Airlines, though with a few local tweaks.
In Business Class passengers will be treated to the Stelia Symphony seat. It expands to a 76″ lie-flat bed, bringing comfort to the long-haul routes.
The 1-2-1 staggered layout provides all passengers with direct aisle access while maintaining privacy and an option for couples traveling together to talk during the flight.
Read More: Vistara launches inflight wifi service on Dreamliner fleet
Premium economy passengers on the new Vistara 787 will see a 2-3-2 layout with 37″ pitch between rows. The seats also feature a 13″ HD IFE screen, 6-way headrest, footrest and AC/USB power outlets.
The seats are a version of the Recaro PL3530 premium economy product.
Economy class passengers flying long-haul with Vistara will receive a relatively typical 787 economy class experience the 3-3-3 layout and 31″ pitch are industry standards at this time.
Passengers will also have USB power, 12″ HD IFE screens and a 6-way headrest for increased comfort on the overnight flights.
Vistara is using the Recaro CL3710 for economy class seats.
The aircraft also features in-flight internet service, powered by Panasonic Avionics and Nelco.
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With AI being the only Indian airline with daily passenger service to the US after Jet Airways collapsed, it’s now Vistara taking a stab at it. Let’s see how that works with the EK, QR, EY TK SQ service to India cities beside just Delhi and Bombay.
Seth Miller says
A lot depends on connection timing and how Vistara builds the hub schedule, but if they can get a quick, easy domestic connection then the long hop to the USA it could be appealing. Or pax will choose to split the journey with a stop closer to the mid-point. But I also know there’s a lot of Vistara loyalists in India who seem keen to support a local carrier other than AI.
Also, the US-India market (in normal times) is huge, so 300 extra seats each way should be pretty easy to fill.