Vistara international operations have long been the stuff of speculation. The airline, which completed the induction of 20 aircraft in 2018, was awaiting the approval for the launch of International operations in 2018 itself. Too bad, they got stuck in the bureaucracy and only got the approval to fly abroad in March 2019. In the meanwhile, they prepared to launch flights to Phuket and Colombo. GoAir made it first to Phuket, and Colombo had the sad tragic attack on tourists this year, so, there was a change of plans. Vistara also took the time to expand out of Mumbai airport to many other airports across the country.
Now, Vistara is finally all set to launch their international operations. The airline is going to fly their first set of international flights to Singapore, which is the home of their mothership, Singapore Airlines in August 2019.
Vistara Singapore Flight Timings
Vistara’s first international flight will take off from Delhi to Singapore on August 6, 2019 late night, and operate daily on the Delhi – Singapore – Delhi rotation. The timings of the flight are:
UK115 DEL2345 – 0815(+1)SIN D
UK116 SIN0930 – 1245DEL D
Vistara’s second international flight will start to operate from Mumbai to Singapore on August 7, 2019 and operate daily on the Mumbai – Singapore – Mumbai rotation. The timings of the flight are:
UK105 BOM2355 – 0815(+1)SIN D
UK106 SIN1030 – 1355BOM D
On both the flights, the scheduled equipment is the Boeing 737-800 aircraft that the airline has acquired recently, which were earlier being used by Jet Airways. So, only Business Class and Economy Class will be operated on these flights at the moment. This is in contrast with the general understanding that the airline would operate their flagship product on the A320N for these flights, which is perfectly capable to complete the six hours mission in a three class capacity.
This could have to do with some sort of expiring permissions perhaps to start their operations abroad within a required timeline and the lack of equipment to start operations. Currently, the flights seem to be only loaded for sale up to September 29, 2019, which is the end of the summer schedule 2019. So hopefully, as the airline receives more of their A320Neo which they are due to receive starting in the next months, this will switch out to the A320Neo soon. The announcement of a Premium Economy redemption is why it gives me hope that a 3-class product will eventually fly on this route. Or perhaps it will be the A321neo which is due to join the fleet soon. I’m told it is done up quite well inside, so perhaps that may be for use on regional international operations.
Flights are available for sale on the Vistara website, and OTAs such as MakeMyTrip. The prices for the flights start from economy class return trip at INR 22,000 and Business class at INR 78,000.
Club Vistara Redemptions
The airline has also updated their award charts for Club Vistara redemptions. Both from Mumbai and Delhi to Singapore (or vice versa) you need the following amounts for redemptions:
- Business Class: 100,000 Club Vistara points one way (available for 80,000 CV points now!)
- Premium Economy: 40,000 Club Vistara points one way
- Economy: 25,000 Club Vistara points one way (available for 20,000 CV points now!)
For an upgrade, here is the amount required for Club Vistara members:
- Economy to Premium Economy: 15,000 Club Vistara points one way | 3 Upgrade Vouchers
- Premium Economy to Business: 60,000 Club Vistara points one way | 3 Upgrade Vouchers
The number of points required for Business Class look high, but seem to be in line with the Vistara strategy of keeping them high to largely keep them out of sight of the frequent fliers. Same thing with voucher upgrades. Not sure how one will be able to upgrade if there is no Premium Economy product in the cabin in the first place. As of now, redemption seats are not open.
A lot of things are still unclear, for instance the privileges and the products being offered to Club Vistara elites at Singapore Airport, also on board. So, we will have to wait and see for the first flight or hopefully a press event before to see what Vistara has in store for us once they fly abroad.
Vistara claims in their press release that they will add other international destinations to the network soon. As per Karan, the next destinations would ideally be Bangkok and Dubai where Vistara already holds rights to fly soon.
Here is what I can hazard a guess for right now. Vistara will use the existing Singapore Airlines infrastructure in Delhi and Singapore. In Delhi, Singapore Airlines has an excellent Lounge in the international departures area, which will set apart Vistara from the crowd that uses all the Plaza Premium and ITC Lounges. In Mumbai, everyone uses the GVK Lounge. So the question will be if they use the GVK East lounge, the GVK West Premium or the GVK West Business Lounge.
In Singapore as well, while the Singapore Airlines lounges will undergo renovation, there will be a good chance that you will find Vistara in the SilverKris Business Class lounge and the Gold Class lounges of SQ.
Vistara’s next big move is here. They will fly with the 787s next year, and till then, we will have to see what are all the short haul and regional routes they add using their A320 and 737 family aircraft in the coming days.
Are you excited for Vistara to fly abroad in the coming days?