Vistara to stretch wings in Thailand, Nepal

New Delhi, August 4 (IANS): India's only full-service private carrier Vistara plans to add destinations in Thailand and Nepal to its international network by the year-end.


According to industry sources, the airline which is just about to commence international operations from August 6, will rapidly expand its global presence, thereafter.


The airline is expected to deploy capacity to Bangkok and Kathmandu after starting operations to Dubai.


Recently, TATA SIA Airlines known by brand name Vistara announced that it will commence flight operations to Dubai from August 21.


Dubai will become the airline's second overseas destination.


Vistara is poised to inaugurate its international operations with flights to Singapore from Delhi and Mumbai from August 6 and 7, 2019, respectively.


Besides, direct flight operations, the full-service carrier has established interline agreements with over 25 airlines around the world and entered codeshare agreements with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, British Airways, Japan Airlines and United Airlines.


On official level, a senior Vistara official told IANS: "We have announced Dubai in the Middle East as our second international destination."


"We will soon add more international destinations within the range of our existing fleet. We will further expand on medium and long-haul routes as and when we receive suitable aircraft from the order we placed last year."


In the domestic sector, the airline plans to add more destinations and multiply frequency on existing routes.


"The start of our international operations and our partnerships with airlines across the globe also gives us more flexibility to feed traffic on to our domestic network," the official said.


"In June 2019, we expanded our network significantly with the addition of more than 60 new flights to and from Mumbai and Delhi, increasing the size of Vistara's domestic network by over 50 per cent."


Consequent to its expansion plans, the airline will also enhance its fleet size.


Last year, it placed an order for 50 aircraft from the Airbus A320neo family for the domestic market as well as short and medium-haul international operations, with deliveries scheduled between 2019 and 2023.


Additionally, the airline has purchased six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft that are scheduled to be delivered between 2020 and 2021, and will be used for long-haul international operations.


"We expect the delivery of the first of our six B787-9 in the last quarter of the current financial year, with the rest of the deliveries to follow until 2021," the official said.


"We also recently leased seven additional aircraft, including six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, taking the total number of aircraft in our fleet to 29."


At present, the airline connects 26 destinations, operates over 1,200 flights a week served by a fleet of 23 Airbus A320 and six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft.


It has flown more than 16 million customers since start of operations in 2015.