Vistara, a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata group, has applied to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)...
Vistara, a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata group, has applied to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for permission of four new aircraft. A senior DGCA official said that the carrier has put in request to incubate new aircraft to expand operations.
Vistara officials said that as per their plan they will add three new planes to its existing fleet of six aircraft by the end of this year. “A part of the fleet expansion is for increasing frequencies on existing routes,” said a Vistara official.
The official said that in the coming week Vistara will also start flying to two new destinations. However, the official declined to comment on the new destinations. At present, the airline operates 245 flights every week.
Though Vistara has applied for four planes, company officials are not sure about the fourth aircraft. However, they said Vistara will have at least nine aircraft by the end of 2015.
The full service airline has been suffering because of low passenger load factor (PLF) — the lowest in the industry averaging at 60%, while the industry average is over 80%. Company officials said that the low PLF is because of the category in which they operate. They have 16 business class seats, 36 premium economy seats and 96 economy seats.
This is 20% less capacity than what low-cost carrier IndiGo (180 seats) has.
The premium economy and the business class seats are hard to fill due to high prices. Company officials, however, said that with time passengers will be comfortable with the idea and willing to spend more. Also, with the addition of new routes company officials also expect the PLF to go up.
Meanwhile, the airline is giving an offer to business class travellers. For every business class ticket bought, it is offering a free premium economy tickets. Experts said that offering free premium class tickets will allow them to seed users with the experience.