NEW Indian airline Vistara has confirmed that it will begin operations this week and revealed the sectors it will run.
Starting January 9, the airline will launch Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Ahmedabad and Mumbai-Ahmedabad flights on Airbus A320 aircraft in a three-class configuration of economy, business and premium economy – a first for a domestic airline in India.
However, the airline did not respond to an email enquiry from TTG Asia e-Daily regarding the frequencies.
It has also kicked off a frequent flyer programme, Club Vistara, that awards travellers points for ticket prices rather than miles travelled.
Tata-SIA Airlines, the joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, received its air operator permit for Vistara last month.
Meanwhile, India’s travel trade is welcoming the added competition to the frustrated aviation industry. “Economy class passengers can expect a more robust offering than with no-frill airlines. Increased competition and capacity are ultimately a good thing for the traveller, and the overall health of the industry,” said Ranjeet Oak, senior vice president-flights, MakeMyTrip.com.
Neelu Singh, COO, Ezeego1.com, said: “The concept of premium economy is a first of its kind in India and will certainly attract a lot of middle managers looking for more comfort than economy class but cheaper fares than business class.
“From an industry perspective, it is definitely good to have one more player in the full-service category which will give more choice to the customers.”
However, the airline is expected to face tough competition on the sectors it is operating. IndiGo has introduced a fifth daily flight on the New Delhi-Ahmedabad sector on January 4 and a sixth Mumbai-Ahmedabad flight on January 5.