Indian full service carrier Vistara has announced that it is expanding its Kochi service by adding flights from an additional metro city.
Starting 26th March 2023, Vistara will fly daily between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport and Kochi International Airport with the following schedule:
- Departure time: 09:45
- Arrival time: 11:50
- Flight time: 2 hours and 05 minutes
- Flight number: UK515
- Departure time: 12:30
- Arrival time: 14:40
- Flight time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
- Flight number: UK516
Flights will be operated by three-class Airbus A320 aircraft featuring 8 Business Class seats, 24 Premium Economy Class seats and 132 standard Economy Class seats.
Entering a very crowded market
Mumbai-Kochi route sees a mix of business and leisure travellers. Kochi is the biggest airport in the Indian state of Kerala and is considered as a “gateway” to the southernmost points of India.
The Mumbai-Kochi market is a very crowded one, with Air India, IndiGo and GoFirst already flying on the route. As of 26th March 2023, IndiGo will operate thrice-daily flights on the route while both Air India and GoFirst will operate twice-daily flights. With the addition of Vistara, there will be a total of 8 daily flights on the route.
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Continues expansion from Mumbai
Lately, Vistara has been largely expanding from Mumbai, whether it be internationally or domestically. On the international side, the carrier added flights from Mumbai to cities like Muscat, Jeddah, Kathmandu, Dhaka amongst others while resuming flights to Colombo. On the domestic side, the carrier launched flights to Jaipur, its newest domestic destination, with double-daily flights from Mumbai.
Delhi and Mumbai are one of the most slot-constrained airports in India. However, the gulf is accessible more from Mumbai rather than Delhi due to Mumbai’s close proximity to the Middle East. With the launch of Mumbai-Kochi flights, Vistara may be targeting the Kochi-Gulf market, which happens to be the most busiest corridor in the India-Middle East air corridor.
The flights are not best timed to provide convenient connecting opportunities but it may just be the case. Along with this, there’s always O&D (Origin and Destination) traffic to look after and Vistara may be targeting that also.
Currently, the airline flies daily between Delhi and Kochi, enabling connections from/to Vistara’s European network.
Featured image by JetPhotos/Sandeep Pilania
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