Aviation News

Vistara to start flights to London Heathrow from Mumbai

Vistara has announced that it will launch flights from Mumbai to London Heathrow. The airline already operates flights to the English city from Delhi.

From the “City of Dreams” to the English Capital

Starting 1st June 2023, Vistara will operate 5-flights-a-week between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport and London Heathrow Airport. The flights will operate with the following schedule:

  • Mumbai-London Heathrow
  • Departure time: 14:30 (13:50 on Tuesdays)
  • Arrival time: 19:45 (19:10 on Tuesdays)
  • Flight time: 9 hours and 50 minutes (9 hours and 55 minutes on Tuesdays)
  • Flight number: UK15
  • Frequency: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • London Heathrow-Mumbai
  • Departure time: 21:55 (20:55 on Tuesdays)
  • Arrival time: 11:00 (the next day) (10:15 on Tuesdays)
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 35 minutes (8 hours and 50 minutes on Tuesdays)
  • Flight number: UK16
  • Frequency: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays

These flights will be operated by Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners featuring 30 lie-flat Business Class seats, 21 Premium Economy seats and 248 standard Economy Class seats.

We are delighted to announce Mumbai-London as our fourth route to Europe after connecting Frankfurt, Paris and London with Delhi. The launch of this new route is also a reflection of our customers’ growing preference for Vistara, for travel between India and the UK. This additional gateway also offers our customers more options and flexibility with their travel itineraries while choosing to fly the country’s most loved airline. We look forward to further expanding our presence in Europe, especially with more wide-body aircraft joining our fleet in the coming months.

said Vinod Kannan, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara.

Mumbai-London Heathrow will be the fourth European route for Vistara. The airline already operates flights from Delhi to London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Paris.

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A look at the competition

Vistara will face some competition from legacy carriers on this new route. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Air India currently operate flights on the route.

Air India operates twice-daily flights as a result of its recent expansion while Virgin Atlantic operates a daily flight. British Airways operates up to 3-flights-a-day.

On any given day, there will at least be six-flights-a-day plying the route with seven-flights-a-day on some days of the week. This will be the highest ever count of flights on the route in quite some time.

Mumbai is one of the second largest markets for London Heathrow so filling planes might not be a problem for Vistara. This is combined with some special introductory fares Vistara is offering right now, even less than Air India! (at least for now).

Vistara is offering return flights for ₹57,799 (£570 approximately) in Economy Class, ₹1,02,199 (£1008 approximately) in Premium Economy Class and ₹2,41,399 (£2380 approximately) in Business Class. Although these are prices marketed by Vistara, I can’t see any availability for the prices mentioned above. Instead, the lowest return fare for Economy Class I could find was ₹71,550 (£705 approximately).

More aircraft, more routes!

Vistara took delivery of its fourth Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner, registered as VT-TSP, on 30th March 2023. The airline has had to wait for a long time to get deliveries of new B787s as the B787 program has continued to face some or the other problem, with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stopping and resuming deliveries of new B787s for a couple of times in the last few months.

However, things are back on track and Boeing has resumed deliveries of B787s, with Vistara finally getting a brand-new B787. The airline now has four Dreamliners in its fleet. Last year, the airline leased a ex-Hainan Airlines B787-9 for near term growth. Vistara still has 3 B787-9s on order.

The launch of Mumbai-London Heathrow route has been enabled with this new B787-9. This is the airline’s first long-haul route out of Mumbai.

In the past, Vistara wanted to launch flights to the United States but the delay in deliveries of new aircraft has meant that the airline has had to put this plan on hold. In a recent interview, Vinod Kannan, the CEO of Vistara, said that the airline has scrapped its plans of launching flights to the U.S. but will instead focus on growth in the European region, a market which is doing considerably good according to him.

With this, we can certainly expect Vistara to connect existing European destinations such as Paris and Frankfurt with Mumbai or else expand from Delhi and add new destinations. Only time will tell what Vistara’s plans are but for now, it’s good to see the airline opening up its first long-haul market from Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Vistara recently launched flights to Mauritius from Mumbai.

Featured image by Vistara

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