SINGAPORE: Indian airline Vistara announced on Thursday (Jul 11) it would launch international flights in August, with Singapore as its first destination.
The full-service carrier will operate two daily flights to Singapore, one each from Delhi and Mumbai.
The Delhi-Singapore route will start on Aug 6 and the Mumbai-Singapore route on Aug 7. The airline said it would soon expand its international network to other destinations.
Boeing 737-800NG aircraft will ply the two new routes, with business and economy class seats.
The airline's fares are as follows:
"We’re excited to start with Singapore as our first international destination, which we see as a very important market, given the opportunities it presents for corporate, business as well as leisure travel," said Vistara's chief executive officer Leslie Thng.
"As we soon take the ‘new feeling of flying’ to more international destinations, we hope to provide our customers from overseas the finest way to experience India, and inspire travellers from across India to explore more of the world.”
Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.
Bookings for flights to Singapore are "being opened progressively" on Vistara's website, mobile apps and through travel agencies, said the airline.
In its push to launch more international flights, Vistara said it has bought six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, scheduled for delivery between 2020 and 2021. The planes will be used for long-haul international operations.
Vistara has said the launch of international flights, which will give it greater scale to grow, is part of its path to profitability.
The new services could also ease pressure on international airfares from India, which rose by as much as 32 per cent after the collapse of Jet Airways earlier this year.
Jet Airways, which halted operations on Apr 17 after running out of cash, had a market share of around 12 per cent on international flights to and from India in 2018, according to government statistics.
Vistara met the requirement of having more than 20 jets needed for international flights in June 2018. However, it took longer than expected to receive further regulatory approvals.
Low-cost carrier AirAsia India, a joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia Group Bhd that operates narrowbodies, is also seeking approvals to launch international flights.
AirAsia India reached the 20 plane milestone in December and has said it wants to connect Indian passengers to destinations in Southeast Asia