Vistara Airlines, a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, is now one step closer to launching flights to the United States. The airline has officially secured approval from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin US operations.
Coming soon to the US
Vistara, at the end of April, filed a foreign air carrier permit to run flights to the United States with the US’ DOT. Just after over a month, the DOT has formally granted permission to Vistara, providing tentative clearance to begin operating flights later this year. Tentative permission means that the airline is now allowed to start flights barring any major complaints or issues. You can access the formal DOT order here.
Now that the DOT has granted permissions to Vistara, few hurdles remain for the carrier to launch flights to the United States. The Indian full service carrier has remained tight-lipped about its plans, with no formal launch dates or routes being announced.
A Vistara spokesperson, in a statement to Simple Flying, said:
We confirm that Vistara has reached out to the relevant authorities in the United States of America to secure permissions to commence operations to the US. While we have received a temporary Foreign Air Carrier permit from the Department of Transportation, USA, the process is still ongoing. We shall be sharing further details at an appropriate time.
Vistara will very likely be launching flights to the United States from two of India’s biggest cities, Mumbai and Delhi. While there are various options in terms of destinations in the US for Vistara, New York, San Francisco and Chicago are the most popular routes from India. Presently, only two airlines operate nonstop flights between India and the US: Air India and United Airlines. American will be launching flights to New Delhi and Bengaluru later this year.
Vistara will be operating all the flights to the United States using its fleet of 6 Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners. The airlines’ B787-9 seats 299 passengers in a 3-class layout, consisting of business class, premium economy and economy class.
When will Vistara launch flights to the US?
The main question is that when will Vistara start flights to the North American country. Since the start of May, the US has banned the entry of all travellers except US residents and select others. Until this ban is lifted, the airline is unlikely to kick-off services due to low demand and low load factor. This means that the earlier date for flights matches with Vistara’s DOT application, September 2021.
However, we can expect Vistara to delay the launch to Winter 2021 or early 2022. This totally depends on how fast traffic recovers and the delivery schedules for its 787s.
Featured image by Planespotters
What do you think of Vistara’s plans to launch flights to the US? Are you excited to fly them once they start the services? Let me know in the comments section below.