Vistara plans to start international services in the second half of this year with a fleet of 22 aircraft and the first overseas flight will be to South East Asia, a top airline official said today. The full service carrier, which currently has 19 planes, would be getting the 20th aircraft this month, according to its CEO Leslie Thng. A joint venture between Tatas and Singapore Airlines, the airline is discussing plans for raising funds with its promoters. “Right now, we have 19 aircraft. We are going to get 20th aircraft by this month. Then we have leased another two A320 Neos, which will be delivered in May and June. So all together, we will have 22 aircraft when we go international,” Leslie Thng told reporters here.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Wings India 2018’ event, he said the likely destinations for international operations would be regional having duration of 3-5 hours, adding that the first flight would be to South East Asia. “Within 1-2 years of our international operations, we expect to start medium haul destinations. In my perspective, it (medium haul) is 5-9 hours. Of course, Vistara is interested to go long haul… So long haul India to USA is something which we are interested in but we will do it at the right time,” the Vistara chief said.
He also emphasised that at this moment, the airline does not have a fixed time-line for flying long-haul flights. While noting that Vistara does not have any intention to join any alliance at the moment, Leslie Thng said the airline is working on having bilateral relationship with other carriers. “We are definitely working very hard get more codeshares,” he added.