Vistara, a full-service carrier in India, had operated its first long-haul flight from Delhi to London Heathrow using its brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The flight departed on August 28th from Delhi at 02:36 IST and landed at London Heathrow at 06:59 BST. This is the first of Vistara’s particular, thrice-weekly, non-stop service operating under the mutual ‘transport bubble’ from now through October 24th.
VT-TSD, the aircraft operating the August 28th flight, was the very first 787 Dreamliner to join the Vistara fleet.
“Though not regular scheduled flights, we are excited about starting operations to our first long-haul destination. This, in many ways, marks the beginning of a new phase of growth in the global skies for Vistara. This also gives us the opportunity to introduce India’s finest and only five-star airline to London.” -Mr. Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara
The August 28th flight from Delhi to London Heathrow had a flight time of eight hours and 53 minutes and operated as flight UK15. The return journey from London to Delhi began on the morning of 29 around 09:00 local time. It was scheduled to arrive in Delhi at 22:25 local.
The flight schedule for this service through October 24th is as follows:
- Delhi to London: Flight UK15 will depart Delhi at 02:15 and arrive in London at 06:55. This flight will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- London to Delhi: Flight UK16 will depart London at 15:35 and arrive in Delhi at 04:15 the next day. This flight will depart on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – arriving on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, respectively.
The aircraft flying this first service was registered VT-TSD and is a 787-9 Dreamliner. The twinjet widebody was delivered to Vistara at the end of February of this year. At just six months old, it is the very first widebody for the comparatively new airline. Vistara has since taken delivery of a 2nd Dreamliner. This took place on August 14th, 2020.
The Vistara 787-9 is configured to have three classes. There are 30 seats in business class, 21 in premium economy, and 248 in the economy. Below are the key features for each category:
- 44″ seat pitch with a full flatbed with 76″ length
- 18″ HD personal entertainment screen with a video handset
India’s only premium economy
- 38″ seat pitch
- 13″ HD personal entertainment screen
- 6-way headrest
- Calf and footrest
- 31″ seat pitch
- 12″ HD personal entertainment screen
- 6-way headrest
“We are committed to providing the best flying experience to our customers, and we have only just begun,” the airline says on the 787 portions of its website.
A little bit of competition
While Jet Airways is currently out of the picture, there is still some competition between the capital cities of India and the UK. Also flying between Delhi and London are British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Air India. Virgin Atlantic’s service will begin next week and will also take place three times per week.
The addition of Vistara will add to traveller choice. Its premium brand and experience should provide compelling operators with some healthy competition.