Long long time ago, it was a debate going on across India if carriers are interested in domestic traffic or just interested in going abroad. After all, they all wanted the rules of 5/20 to change. 5/20 rules indicated that an Indian carrier cannot fly abroad till they increase their fleet size to 20 airplanes and have at least 5 years of operational experience.
Last year, new norms were notified, changing this requirement to 0/20. This meant that newer carriers such as Vistara which launched in January 2015, did not really need to wait 5 years before going abroad. The airline is scaling up at the moment, with 13 planes already in their fleet, and plans to add the rest 7 by July 2018. Their A320 planes with the NEO engine from Airbus will start delivery from April 2017 onwards.
The COO of Vistara, Sanjiv Kapoor, however, confirmed the plan to go international next year. Speaking at the CAPA India Aviation Summit 2017, he mentioned that the airline will start to fly their narrow body planes when they have 20 aircrafts, however, they are still working on the long-range aircraft, and could also perhaps fly to UK and USA at some point of time.
Watch this space. Here is hoping we can make it to the first flight of Vistara going abroad, just like we did on the first domestic flight!
Do you think they will go abroad to Singapore first, or will it be a more traditional SAARC nation?