The Tata-SIA joint venture airline, Vistara, carried 81 per cent more passengers at 1.1 million in the three months ended September 30 over the same period last year. The third full-service domestic carrier after state-owned Air India and Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways, Vistara had flown 60 million passengers in the July-September period of the fiscal. The massive jump in airline’s passengers traffic came on the back of a 45 per cent increase in the number of seats flown during the period as well as expansion of the fleet to 16 aircraft from 12 at the end of September 2016, the airline said. Vistara, which launched its services about three years ago, currently flies only on domestic routes. The number of seats flown by the airline stood at 12,79,800 in the September quarter of the on-going fiscal as compared to 8,84,762 in the July-September period of last year, Vistara said. At the same time, the passenger load factor (PLF) surged 12 per cent to 84 per cent in September quarter as compared to 72 per cent in the same period last fiscal.
PLF is a measure of how much of an airline’s passenger carrying capacity is used or average percentage of seats filled in an aircraft. The number of flight operated by Vistara increased to around 100 flights a day in the quarter as against 60 flights per day, registering a growth of about 65 per cent, in the same period the year-ago, it said. However, Vistara added only one new destination in its network during the period, taking the total number of cities operated by it to 19 during the quarter, the airline said.