Vistara, on Thursday inaugurated its non-stop flight between Delhi and Frankfurt, under the travel bubble agreement between India and Germany.
The inaugural flight, operated by Vistara’s brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, departed Delhi at 03:30 hours (IST) today and landed in Frankfurt at 07:55 hours (CET). The airline will fly between the two cities twice a week – on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Vistara is a joint venture of Tata Group and Singapore Airlines.
Strengthening European Presence: Vistara
Vistara’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Leslie Thng, said, “The launch of our services to Frankfurt is another important step ahead in our commitment towards growing our global network and strengthening our presence in Europe.”
Mr. Thng added that as one of world’s busiest aviation hubs, Frankfurt promises great opportunities for India’s best airline to grow in the global market. “We are sure that travellers will appreciate having the choice of flying India’s favourite airline on this route,” he said.
SCHEDULE OF FLIGHTS BETWEEN DELHI AND FRANKFURT
|Sector||Flight No.||Days of Operation||Departure||Arrival|
|Delhi (DEL) – Frankfurt (FRA)||UK 025||Thursday, Saturday||0330 Hrs||0755 Hrs|
|Frankfurt (FRA) – Delhi (DEL)||UK 026||Thursday, Saturday||1240 Hrs||0050 Hrs (+1)|
|(+1) indicates next day arrival
* All timings shown are in local time zones
** The first flight from Frankfurt to Delhi will be on Friday (19 Feb 2021) at 1240 hrs. All other flights will follow the above schedule
Vistara said it accepts all eligible customers meeting visa/entry requirements in both the countries, as specified by the respective government bodies. The airline strongly encourages its customers to fully understand the applicable guidelines before making their bookings.
The airline is India’s highest-rated airline on Skytrax and Tripadvisor, and has also been the winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards. In a short span of six years since starting operations, Vistara has raised the bar for operations and service delivery in the Indian aviation industry by offering the world-class flying experience to travellers.
TATA SIA Airlines Limited, known by the brand name Vistara, is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA). Vistara brings together Tata’s and SIA’s legendary hospitality and renowned service excellence to offer the finest full-service flying experience in India.
Vistara commenced its commercial operations on January 9, 2015, with an aim to set new standards in the aviation industry in India and it today connects destinations across India and abroad. The airline has a fleet of 45 aircraft, including 35 Airbus A320, two Airbus A321neo, six Boeing 737-800NG, and two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, and has flown more than 20 million customers since starting operations.
Media reports recently said that Singapore Airlines had reportedly declined to join the Tata Group’s bid for Air India. However, Singapore Airlines is said to have waived off the non-compete clause in Vistara’s contract, allowing Tata to bid for Air India alone.
According to the Times of India, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has said no to any plans of jointly bidding with Tata for Air India. The flag carrier has had been heavily impacted by COVID-19, racking up billions in losses and cutting jobs. At such a time, spending billions on investing in Air India does not seem prudent.
However, SIA has waived the non-compete clause in Vistara’s contract, simpleflying said. While Tata owns 51% and SIA 49%, the contract very likely includes a clause that prevents Tata from buying or start another full-service carrier (there is an exception for Tata’s AirAsia India ownership). This clause could have caused a bottleneck in the sale process, which is why Tata originally bid for Air India through its AirAsia subsidiary.
The news report said SIA’s decision to give Tata a waiver clears the way for the latter to pursue and potentially take over Air India in the coming months. If it were to win the bid, Tata would own two competing full-service carriers and one low-cost one.
While the waiver will undoubtedly be a relief for Tata but does open up several questions about the future, according to Hindustan Times, sources say the group is considering merging subsidiary airlines. This could mean merging Vistara and AirAsia India or Air India and AirAsia India. Alternatively, all three carriers could be merged to form one airline, the news report by simpleflying said.