A couple of days ago, I was over at a Vistara-organised interaction, where they launched the new Vistara co-branded credit cards. Of course, one of the benefits of Media interactions are people forget the product on hand and go on about the other more news-worthy stuff they deem fit. So, the media had a lot of questions about Vistara’s International plans, and their CCO, Sanjiv Kapoor did not shy away from giving a thought into their thought process.
His point of view was that Vistara was always supposed to go International, so with the new regulations, it just becomes easier for them to go international sooner than 5 years as compared to the earlier timeline. They will be very interested in wide-bodies to fly away to destinations on the medium and long haul, however, they haven’t specified what their plan is at the moment, and hence, they are not able to share one. Or perhaps, they have a plan and they want to reveal it when they are at the point of no return.
So, when they have 20 planes, they will start servicing locations which are going to be serviceable with their existing fleet of A320s. This should mean flights to locations closer home, such as Colombo, Dhaka, Singapore perhaps, and Dubai (the usual suspects!) and similar other places. This should be happening as soon as they have 20 planes on their fleet (right now they have 11, and 2 more coming in shortly). The timeline for an international launch is H12018.
Having said that, the carrier does have an eye on serving the west from India. This should happen as they take their learnings from the domestic and regional routes, and also gives them the time to design their new product for international flying, and take it to the skies by figuring out the planes they want to invest in and the places they want to go.
Here is looking forward to the next 24 months when a new International airline would be born out of India.