The Indian carriers have begun to seriously consider the foreign market even as the domestic aviation sector remains sluggish. Early in November, IndiGo and Qatar Airways signed their second codeshare deal (following Turkish Airlines), and late in the month, SpiceJet and Emirates signed their first-ever codeshare. Then, in early December, German airline Lufthansa and full-service carrier (FSC) Vistara inked their sixth codeshare arrangement. The Tata-Singapore Airlines JV carrier has negotiated comparable contracts during the past few years with parent Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, British Airways, Japan Airlines, United Airlines, and over a dozen interline contracts with other international carriers.
While IndiGo and SpiceJet recently announced their intentions to operate foreign long-haul flights, Vistara has been open about their goals from the beginning. The airline with its headquarters in Gurgaon had to wait till it had 20 aircraft in its fleet—a requirement set by the government to fly internationally—before it could begin operating its first international flight to Singapore in August of this year.
In general, entering into a codeshare agreement is the first step in flying long-haul international routes, especially for airlines like Vistara PNR status, IndiGo, and SpiceJet that have not yet entered that market. To be fair, all of these airlines have been operating independently outside of India for a long time, albeit on short-haul flights that primarily serve the Gulf and South Asian regions. However, long-haul flights are a very different animal.
When IndiGo, a low-cost carrier (LCC), explicitly declared (in July 2017) that it was interested in purchasing the foreign business of struggling Air India, its long-haul ambitions came to light (AI). Later, IndiGo decided not to participate in the AI’s sale process. Since then, IndiGo has remained certain that including wide-bodies in its fleet is more of a “aspirational” goal. For a while now, the airline has been submitting applications for slots in the London region. According to recent reports, it has also been given to Vistara users at the London Gatwick airport. Unless IndiGo has secret intentions to introduce wide-body aircraft, it’s unclear how it will be able to fly directly to that airport without one.
SpiceJet, on the other hand, placed an order for 100 Boeing 737-MAX aircraft in January 2017 with the option to upgrade 50 of them to wide-body aircraft (similar to the 787 Dreamliner) in order to launch low-cost service to Birmingham in the UK.
Since neither IndiGo nor SpiceJet has wide-bodies to fly as far as the UK, their plans to establish direct flights have not yet materialised. Even though IndiGo just ordered 300 A320neo family aircraft, some of which are longer-range A321XLR models, it still lacks (or won’t have any time soon) aircraft that can travel to Western Europe, particularly to the London area.
Vistara vs Indigo/Spicejet
On the other hand, Vistara PNR status is hard at work negotiating agreements to progressively increase its international presence with the aid of partner airlines, which will eventually give it the confidence to fly long-distance on its own. Vistara is the only airline of the three to have bought wide-bodies, six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, of which two are expected to arrive by March 2019.
“Codeshare arrangements are the ideal means of expanding worldwide for a small airline like Vistara. As IndiGo and SpiceJet continue to formulate their long-haul strategy, they appear to be in the lead “As a result of its size and scope, says an aviation specialist, Vistara would start by enabling foreign partner carriers to use their codes on its flights. “Similar to Gulf carriers that have partnered with IndiGo and SpiceJet, these foreign carriers would have access to Vistara’s extensive network in India. However, as Vistara creates international routes, such as, say, a flight from Delhi to London, it will probably use these (codeshare) arrangements to place its code on partner airlines’ flights, such as those to North America “he says.
Bolts and nuts
According to rumours, IndiGo and SpiceJet are organising one-stop flights to Europe and other destinations. While IndiGo’s intentions are yet a carefully considered assumption, SpiceJet’s are now public knowledge. As part of a partnership with the RAK international airport to promote its airport as an aviation centre, the Ajay Singh-controlled SpiceJet said last month that it will establish a joint venture airline in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), one of the seven emirates in the UAE, along with a local partner. Early in 2020, the LCC is scheduled to begin flying to RAK, and having a base there will increase the likelihood that it can access the big European market.
According to reports, IndiGo is also considering setting up a hub in Eurasia to improve connections to Europe. One-stop trips imply that they could fly to Europe with their current narrow-bodies. Given that wide-bodies are a challenging game, that makes reasonable. They significantly increase operational complexity for airlines and are very expensive. Wide-body aircraft would require a different group of pilots, crew, engineers, and maintenance personnel. Additionally, the wide-body routes need at least a year, if not longer, to settle. Airlines must be ready to incur costs for the first few years before seeing a return on their investment. There is also always a chance of failure. After failing in its first two attempts to create a flight between Mumbai and London, Virgin Atlantic recently launched a third attempt. According to Richard Branson, the creator of Virgin Group, the service was restarted due to the market’s phenomenal expansion in Mumbai and reduced capacity.
After Jet was grounded in April of this year, the long-haul segment’s activity accelerated. Jet, which had flights to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and London and was strong in the long-haul market, left a void that gave domestic and international carriers the chance to gain market share.
Once more, Vistara PNR status appears to have an advantage over rivals. How? The fleets of IndiGo and SpiceJet have a greater range of aircraft. For instance, IndiGo operates Airbus A320s (ceo and neo), A321neo, and ATR 72-600 aircraft. A321XLRs will be included at some point in the future. it is Airbus 320s, Boeing 737-800NGs, and soon-to-be-inducted Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners are among Vistara’s aircraft types. A streamlined fleet typically gives an airline a cost and flexibility advantage—two crucial factors in the long-haul game.
Currently, Vistara offers three class configurations on its aircraft, including premium economy, giving clients who are ready to pay a little bit more for better services an additional option. Air India and international carriers are the only options left to the FSC after Jet was grounded. Although the idea of low-cost long-haul (LCLH) appeals to a money-conscious Indian market, it would be too hazardous for Indian airlines to go that way given that the model is experiencing difficulties globally – the pioneer of LCLH Norwegian Air is incurring enormous losses.
The fact that Vistara has a more robust loyalty programme than SpiceJet works in its favour. Wide-body operations demand frequent flier programmes. IndiGo, which has thus far prioritised upholding its core values over winning over repeat customers, is undoubtedly lacking in this area. It might join one of the international alliances in the future.
What awaits us in the future?
Boeing has agreed to deliver six 787-9 Dreamliners to Vistara, with an option for four more, in the near future. In an interview with Outlook, Vistara CEO Leslie Thng stated that the company intends to employ the new 787s to fly medium- to long-haul flights from hub cities Delhi and Mumbai to Europe and possibly North Asia. By citing Vistara’s numerous codeshare partners, he continued, “Vistara’s ambition is to become the go-to airline for Indians to fly direct non-stop wherever in the world, including the US and Australia.”
Many people seem to have fallen in love with Vistara, as seen by the glowing internet evaluations that highlight the airline’s superior offerings. With a market share of barely 6% and a little boost following Jet Airways’ demise, there are still some problems for the airline. Vistara’s business strategy and path to profitability have come under scrutiny.
What are the major benefits of Vistara Airlines for people? How you can check Vistara PNR status?
Vistara Airlines offers several benefits to its passengers. Here are some of the major advantages of flying with Vistara:
- Full-Service Experience: Vistara is a full-service airline, meaning that it provides a comprehensive travel experience. Passengers can enjoy complimentary meals and beverages, including special dietary options. The airline also offers a wide range of in-flight entertainment options, including movies, TV shows, music, and games, to keep passengers entertained during their journey.
- Comfortable Cabins: Vistara’s aircraft are equipped with comfortable seating arrangements designed to enhance passenger comfort. The airline offers three cabin classes, allowing passengers to choose the level of luxury and amenities that best suit their needs and budget.
- Extensive Route Network: Vistara operates flights to numerous domestic and international destinations. This provides passengers with a wide range of options for their travel plans and makes it convenient to connect to different cities within India and beyond.
- Loyalty Program: Vistara’s frequent flyer program, Club Vistara, allows passengers to earn points for their flights. These points can be redeemed for various benefits, such as free flights, upgrades, and priority services. The loyalty program offers additional perks for frequent travelers, enhancing the overall travel experience.
- Partnerships and Alliances: Vistara is part of the Tata-SIA Airlines joint venture and has formed partnerships and alliances with other airlines. This enables passengers to enjoy seamless travel experiences, convenient connections, and coordinated services when flying with Vistara or its partner airlines.
- Premium Services for Business Class: Vistara’s Business Class offers an enhanced travel experience. Passengers in Business Class enjoy priority services such as dedicated check-in counters, access to airport lounges, spacious seating with extra legroom, gourmet dining options, and personalized service.
- On-Time Performance and Safety: Vistara has demonstrated a commitment to punctuality and maintaining high safety standards. The airline has received recognition for its on-time performance, giving passengers peace of mind and minimizing travel disruptions.
It’s important to note that specific benefits may vary depending on the ticket type, destination, and individual circumstances. Passengers are encouraged to check Vistara’s website or contact their customer service for detailed information about the benefits and services available to them.
What are the safety measures and performance of Vistara PNR Status on it?
Vistara places a high priority on safety and maintains rigorous measures to ensure the well-being of its passengers. Here are some of the safety measures and performance aspects of Vistara Airlines:
Regulatory Compliance: Vistara complies with all the safety regulations and requirements set by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory body for civil aviation in India. The airline adheres to national and international safety standards, ensuring that its operations meet the necessary safety protocols.
Well-Maintained Fleet: Vistara maintains a modern fleet of aircraft, including Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737-800 models. These aircraft undergo regular inspections, maintenance, and servicing to ensure their airworthiness and safe operation. Vistara follows strict maintenance schedules and procedures to keep its fleet in optimal condition.
Highly Trained Crew: Vistara employs well-trained and experienced pilots, cabin crew, and ground staff. The crew members undergo thorough training programs, which include safety procedures, emergency protocols, first aid, and customer service. This training equips them to handle various situations and provide assistance to passengers when needed.
Safety Management Systems: Vistara has implemented robust safety management systems (SMS) to identify, assess, and mitigate risks. These systems help in the proactive identification of potential safety hazards and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent incidents and accidents.
Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation: Vistara continuously monitors and evaluates its safety performance. This includes regular inspections, audits, and assessments to identify areas for improvement and ensure compliance with safety standards. The airline maintains a culture of continuous learning and improvement to enhance safety practices.
Safety Communication: Vistara emphasizes safety communication to passengers, ensuring that they are aware of safety procedures, emergency exits, and other relevant information. Safety announcements are made before takeoff, and safety cards are provided on board to familiarize passengers with emergency procedures.
On-Time Performance: Vistara strives to maintain a good on-time performance record. Punctuality is crucial for passenger convenience and helps to minimize travel disruptions. The airline makes efforts to adhere to schedules and minimize delays whenever possible.
It’s important to note that safety is a collective responsibility, and passengers should also follow safety instructions, fasten seat belts, and comply with crew instructions during the flight.
For the most up-to-date and detailed information on Vistara’s safety measures and performance, I recommend visiting their official website or contacting their customer service directly.
Why is communication very necessary in airline support?
Communication is highly necessary in airline support for several reasons:
Safety: Clear and effective communication is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew members. Airlines need to communicate critical safety information, emergency procedures, and instructions to passengers in a concise and understandable manner. This helps passengers understand what to do in case of an emergency and enables them to act appropriately, enhancing overall safety.
Passenger Assistance: Communication plays a vital role in providing assistance and support to passengers. Airlines need to effectively communicate important information such as flight schedules, gate changes, delays, cancellations, baggage handling, immigration procedures, and more. Clear and timely communication helps passengers stay informed and minimizes confusion and frustration during travel.
Customer Service: Effective communication is crucial for providing excellent customer service. Passengers may have inquiries, special requests, or concerns that need to be addressed promptly and professionally. Airlines must have efficient communication channels and well-trained customer service representatives to assist passengers and provide them with the necessary information and support.
Conflict Resolution: In cases where issues or conflicts arise, such as flight disruptions, lost baggage, or service complaints, clear communication is vital in resolving these matters. Airlines need to listen to passenger concerns, communicate potential solutions, and keep passengers informed about the progress of their case. Open and transparent communication helps build trust and customer satisfaction.
Coordination and Collaboration: Airline support involves various departments and stakeholders, including ground staff, cabin crew, pilots, maintenance personnel, and more. Effective communication ensures seamless coordination and collaboration among these teams. It allows for the exchange of critical information, updates, and instructions, ensuring that operations run smoothly and efficiently.
Crisis Management: During unexpected events or crises, such as natural disasters, security threats, or pandemics, clear communication becomes even more crucial. Airlines need to promptly communicate changes, safety measures, travel advisories, and alternative arrangements to passengers. This helps manage the situation, ensure passenger safety, and maintain public trust.
Overall, effective communication in airline support enhances safety, facilitates passenger assistance, provides excellent customer service, resolves conflicts, promotes collaboration, and enables efficient crisis management. It is a vital aspect of the overall travel experience and contributes to the success and reputation of an airline.
What is the main reason for choosing flights rather than trains?
The main reasons for choosing flights over trains can vary depending on individual preferences and circumstances. Here are some common factors that may influence people to choose flights:
Speed and Efficiency: Flights are generally faster than trains, especially for long-distance or international travel. Airplanes can cover significant distances in a shorter amount of time compared to trains. This is particularly advantageous when time is a critical factor or when there are no direct train routes available for the desired destinations.
Long-Distance Travel: Flights are often the preferred choice for long-distance or intercontinental travel. They offer the convenience of reaching far-off destinations quickly, efficiently, and without the need for multiple transfers or long hours spent on a train.
Accessibility: Air travel provides access to remote or geographically isolated destinations that may not be easily reachable by train. Airports are typically located closer to city centers, making it more convenient for travelers to reach their final destinations without lengthy ground transportation.
Global Connectivity: Air travel offers a wide range of global connectivity. Airlines operate extensive networks that connect various cities and countries worldwide. This makes it easier for travelers to reach international destinations and explore different parts of the world.
Time-Sensitive Travel: Flights are often preferred for time-sensitive travel, such as business trips or urgent travel needs. Air travel allows passengers to arrive at their destination quickly and efficiently, minimizing the time spent in transit.
Comfort and Amenities: Airplanes generally offer a higher level of comfort and amenities compared to trains. Modern aircraft provide features such as individual entertainment systems, comfortable seating, onboard Wi-Fi (on select flights), and access to services like in-flight meals and duty-free shopping.
Specialized Services: Air travel offers specialized services like premium cabin classes (e.g., Business Class or First Class) that provide additional comfort, luxury, and personalized services. These options cater to passengers who prioritize a premium travel experience.
Competitive Pricing: Depending on the specific route, time of booking, and other factors, flights can sometimes offer competitive pricing compared to train tickets. It’s important to compare prices and consider factors like convenience, travel time, and personal preferences when deciding between flights and trains.
It’s worth noting that choosing between flights and trains also depends on factors such as the availability of airports and train stations in the desired locations, environmental considerations, personal preferences, and individual circumstances.