Vistara is likely to launch services from Delhi to Bangkok, Colombo, and Male (Maldives) in the winter schedule as a part of its maiden international foray.
Vistara, which began operations in January 2015, has 20 Airbus A320 planes at present. It is expected to receive its 21st and 22nd aircraft in July and September respectively. Government norms require airlines to have minimum 20 aircraft in service before getting eligible for overseas operations.
Sources said Vistara has sought slots from Delhi airport for its international services. While Delhi-Male could be a seasonal service, flights to Colombo and Bangkok would run round the year. The airline may also fly Kolkata-Bangkok.
“Bangkok is a year-round destination and Colombo has limited capacity from Delhi. Vistara can get additional traffic feed from its partner airlines all of whom who have presence in Delhi and can later hope to feed its own long-haul flights from India to Europe with traffic from the three destinations,” an aviation analyst remarked.
Currently, Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Thai Airways fly between Delhi and Bangkok while Air India and Sri Lankan Airlines operate Delhi-Colombo. There is no non-stop flight from Delhi to Male currently.
Vistara did not respond to an email query seeking comment.
However, the airline's chief executive officer Leslie Thng had indicated that it will launch international services in second half of 2018 and its first international flight would be to South East Asia. He had said the initial routes would have destinations within 3-5 hours flying time and added that Vistara would start medium haul flights in 1-2 years of operations.
A Bloomberg report last week said Vistara was poised to order six Boeing 787s and option to order four more planes which will allow it to mount operations to Europe and the US. The report further said that the airline was negotiating to order upto 60 Airbus A320neo for domestic and short-haul flights.
Last September, the airline completed IATA's operational safety audit as a part of its plans to launch overseas flights and in April became a member of International Air Transport Association.
The membership will further enable Vistara to collaborate with other international member airlines for codeshare and interline agreements and provide a seamless travel experience through an extended global network to travellers to and from India, the airline said in April.