Not Going To Operate All-Economy Aircraft Under A Sub-Brand: Vistara CEO
Some of the 50 aircraft that will join the Vistara's fleet over the next three years will have just economy-class seats and the airline has factored in operational challenges that may arise from having planes with different class configurations, its CEO Leslie Thng said on Tuesday.
"Vistara is at a stage of maturing, which means it is growing in scale, size as well as in creating robust operational processes. We have factored in the operational challenges that may arise from having different fleets and are confident of successfully steering through them," the Vistara CEO told PTI.
Asked if the airline has decided the routes on which the all-economy aircraft would be deployed, Mr Thng said, "No, we have not yet decided the specific routes, but those few aircraft will be deployed on routes that see weaker demand for front cabins (means business class and premium economy class) or on seasonal leisure routes. This only means offering the right product for the right market."
At present, there are 39 aircraft in Vistara's fleet comprising 19 A320neo aircraft, 13 A320ceo aircraft and seven Boeing B737-800NG aircraft.
One of the A320neo aircraft in its fleet currently is of all-economy configuration.
Rest of the A320neo aircraft as well as all A320ceo planes have three-class configuration -- business class, premium economy class and economy class.
The Boeing B737 planes have dual class configuration with business and economy classes.
Mr Thng said that the decision to have some all-economy aircraft in the fleet was taken after careful evaluation of the current market dynamics, that is, to offer the right product to the market demand.
However, he asserted, "It is important to note that the three-class cabin configuration is one of Vistara's strongest USPs and we have every intention of offering it on as many routes as possible."
"We are not going to operate our all-economy aircraft under a sub-brand with a different business model," he added.
Vistara has codeshare agreement with various foreign full-service carriers (FSCs) - Lufthansa Airlines, United Airlines, Japan Airlines, British Airways etc.
When asked how he will deal with their passengers if they are taking a connecting Vistara flight in India that has all-economy configuration, he replied, "We do not think that this will impact our codeshare operations."
In response to another question, he stated that Vistara will not be operating all-economy aircraft on any of its international routes.