Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer, Sanjiv Kapoor announced this week that the airline is “reviewing and refining” its plans to launch international flights.
Up until last month, the 5/20 rule restricted airlines to fly domestically for five years before serving international routes. It has now been amended to 0/20: airlines aren’t required to fly domestically for five years, but they still need to operate a fleet of at least 20 aircraft or reserve 20 per cent of the fleet for domestic routes, whichever is higher.
By June 2018, Vistara will have a fleet of 20 aircraft. It currently has 11 A320 that flies to 17 Indian cities. It will receive two more A320 this year, followed by seven A320neo over the next two years.
Kapoor says, “The first set of routes that we will launch internationally, will be the routes that can be flown by our existing aircraft, the A320s, which will be routes within three to three-and-a-half hours of India; essentially regional routes and SAARC.”