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Vistara launches flights between Delhi and Tokyo

Indian full service carrier Vistara has successfully operated its inaugural flight between Delhi and Tokyo. The route was originally set to launch on 16th June 2021, but was pushed back to 7th July 2021 due to operational reasons. The new route to Tokyo marks the first time that the airline will operate scheduled long-haul flights to Asia as it looks to expand globally.

Launched

Vistara has today operated its inaugural flight between Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and Tokgo’s Haneda Airport. Flight UK83 departed at 03:13 this morning from Delhi bound for Tokyo. The aircraft flew pretty straightforward path east, flying through Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China, before entering Japan. After staying in the air for around 7 hours and 37 minutes, the Boeing B787 Dreamliner landed in Tokyo at 14:20 local time, 30 minutes before the scheduled landing time of 14:50, making up for the 13-minute delay in departure.

Flight UK83’s path. Photo: Flightradar24

Vistara will operate flights between the two capitals once-a-week using Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners under the air travel bubble agreement between India and Japan. The airline’s B787-9 features 30 lie-flat business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration giving every passenger a direct aisle access, 21 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and 248 standard economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout.

The flights between Delhi and Tokyo will operate as per the following schedule:

  • Delhi-Tokyo
  • Departure time: 03:00
  • Arrival time: 14:50
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 20 minutes
  • Flight number: UK83
  • Frequency: Only Wednesdays
  • Tokyo-Delhi
  • Departure time: 17:50
  • Arrival time: 23:35
  • Flight time: 9 hours and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: UK84
  • Frequency: Only Thursdays

Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said:

We are delighted to take India’s finest airline to Japan and provide an unmatched flying experience to our customers that exemplifies modern Indian hospitality with the highest global standards in safety, hygiene and operations. We look forward to further strengthening our presence on this new route in the coming months.

The full-service carrier stated that it will accept all eligible customers meeting visa/entry requirements in both countries, as specified by the respective government bodies.

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Competition

Presently, three airlines fly between Delhi and Tokyo: All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Air India. While the pandemic has reduced schedules, these carriers once flew daily services from the city. Vistara has now become the fourth airline to fly on this route.

As of August, All Nippon Airways offers twice-weekly flights on Mondays and Fridays while Japan Airlines offers 3-weekly flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Air India operates flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Vistara’s flight fits in neatly with this, only clashing with partner Japan Airlines’ services.

All the four airlines use their Boeing B787 Dreamliner (-8s and -9s) on flights between Delhi and Tokyo.

First long-haul route to East Asia

For the Delhi-based carrier, the beginning of flights to Tokyo marks its first foray into the long-haul East Asian market. While these routes had been a top focus before the pandemic, they have largely been closed off due to strict border restrictions. Instead, the airline has been flying to London and Frankfurt with these B787s.

Vistara is planning to start nonstop flights to the United States in the fourth quarter of 2021 after the airline got permission from the Department of Transportation (DOT) of the US.

Meanwhile, the airline recently restructured its ‘Freedom Fares’ programme. Vistara also recently operated India’s first flight with fully vaccinated crew and took delivery of first owned Airbus A320neo.

Featured image by Vistara

What do you think of Vistara’s first long-haul to East Asia? Are you excited to travel with Vistara to Tokyo once restrictions ease? Let me know in the comments section below.

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