Aviation in India is gradually getting back on track, with more flights being scheduled every week, and passenger numbers slowly, but steadily, on rise. It has been just a couple days since airlines have resumed operations, but there have been quite some events to rejoice! Vistara Airways, the joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, operated its maiden commercial flight by the Boeing 787-9 aircraft from Delhi to Kolkata on May 28, 2020 (Thursday).
Vistara welcomed the aircraft in its fleet in February 2020; however, because of the lockdown, it was mostly grounded. While the aircraft was used to deliver medical equipment in the later half of April and first two weeks of May, the flight on May 28 marked its first commercial flight.
Vistara’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Vinod Kannan stated in a Press Release:
‘We are seeing a reasonable demand on some of the routes and are happy to add more flights to fly people home and help them reunite with their loved ones. This also enabled us to deploy India’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Delhi-Kolkata route on 28 and 29 May 2020.’
While Air India as well operates the Dreamliner regularly on the Mumbai-New Delhi route, that aircraft is the 787-8 variant. Thus, Vistara is the first airline in India to operate a 787-9. Flight UK705, operated using the Dreamliner, departed from New Delhi at 0705hrs on Thursday and arrived at Kolkata at 0855hrs. This aircraft has 30 seats in business class, 21 seats in premium economy and 248 seats in economy class. The Dreamliner, registered as VT-TSD, features Stelia’s Symphony hard product for the scintillating business class seats in 1-2-1 configuration. The same configuration and business class product is also used by Singapore Airlines. After the demise of Jet Airways, Vistara is currently only the second airline in India to operate domestic flights on a wide-body jet, next to Air India.
Vistara CEO Leslie Thng has stated that the Dreamliner is designed to global standards and is at par with some of world’s biggest airlines. He further added:
‘Our Dreamliner also symbolizes the maturity Indian aviation has gained over the years on the global platform.’
Vistara is known for its luxury full service product, which has made quite a mark in India’s domestic market, which is mostly dominated by Low-Cost Carriers. With the successful commercial flight of the Dreamliner, the airline now looks forward to 5 more 787-9s that are on order. Vistara has plans to operate international flights with the added wide-body fleet.
Amidst the current situation in global aviation, this is indeed a breath of fresh air! What do you think of Vistara’s brand new aircraft? Are you excited to fly on the carrier’s 787-9? Let us know in the comments!