Monday, March 7, 2016

Sneak peek at Vistara's summer schedule 2016

by Soumen Mukherjee
Vistara, India's youngest full-service carrier, currently operates around 325 weekly flights on 25 routes in a network of 12 destinations across India. It has a fleet of 9 Airbus A320-200 aircraft; The last time, it had added a new destination was Varanasi on 21 October 2015, meanwhile its fleet size had swelled from 7 to 9 between October and November 2015. The airline is expected to announce new destinations and additional frequencies on existing routes for the summer 2016 season by tomorrow,  before that we will try look into its strategy in the summer 2016 season (effective from 27 March 2016) by looking at its new schedule available for booking on select sectors. This is going to be Vistara's second summer season, which also consists one of the peak seasons in Indian travel market. The airline has come a long way in the past one year where it had adopted itself according to the market dynamics whenever it felt necessary.
It has improved a lot in terms of its passenger load factor, now ranging around 75% in recent months, but it has a long way to go on that path as it is still at the bottom in the PLF charts. In fact, Vistara was the first airline this time to launch pre-summer flash sale to improve its loads during the current lean season. Recently, Sanjiv Kapoor has joined Vistara as the chief commercial and strategy officer with a wide variety of responsibility at the airline. The airline has also announced its plans for cabin re-configuration where it will reduce capacity of premium classes to make way for additional economy seats (8J 24S 126Y compared to 16J 36S 96Y at present). While the upcoming new aircraft will come with the new cabin product, the existing fleet of 9 will be retro-fitted in two phases in April and July 2016;

Prima facie it appears that Vistara going to substantially increase its average aircraft utilization. With aircraft starting the day early and flying till almost midnight, the airline will be in a position to better utilize its current fleet and the upcoming new aircraft in the summer 2016 season. Another major development in Vistara's summer schedule, it is going to reduce its turn-around time by 5 minuted to 35 minutes in most sectors compared to 40 minutes at present. These measures will help the airline to achieve higher block-time per aircraft and with higher block time, I believe Vistara can indeed add few more flights with its current fleet itself before the arrival of new aircraft. And it will be interesting to see whether the airline can maintain its current lead in terms of on-time performance as it goes to higher aircraft utilization. The airline is scheduled to receive 4 new Airbus A320-200 aircraft in 2016 with delivery starting from the second quarter of 2016; 

Delhi-Ahmedabad
Vistara shows sign of re-adjustment in its summer schedule for the Delhi-Ahmedabad sector as the airport operation will be affected in Ahemedabad due to runway work between 10 am and 6 pm from 16 April 2016 to 31 March 2017; Although Vistara's current schedule too doesn't fall within the time frame mentioned above however it has further adjusted the timing of its Ahmedabad flights to better cope with the runway closure.

Winter schedule (current):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 955
Delhi: 07:35
Ahmedabad: 09:05
Daily
UK 969
Delhi: 17:20
Ahmedabad: 18:55
Daily

UK 990
Ahmedabad: 09:50
Delhi: 11:15
Daily
UK 968
Ahmedabad: 19:35
Delhi: 21:05
Daily


Summer schedule (new):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 959
Delhi: 06:40
Ahmedabad: 08:10
Daily
UK 969
Delhi: 17:45
Ahmedabad: 19:15
Daily

UK 950
Ahmedabad: 08:45
Delhi: 10:15
Daily
UK 968
Ahmedabad: 19:50
Delhi: 21:15
Daily

Delhi-Bhubaneswar
On the Delhi-Bhubaneswar sector, Vistara is appearing to reduce capacity in the summer 2016 season while it flies 14x weekly flights now, it is scheduled to fly 12x weekly flights in he summer with the morning flight not operating on weekends. The schedule shows random changes and cancellation of service in the initial few days of summer season then the schedule finally get stabilised by 7 April 2016 with 12x weekly flights.

But if one carefully looks at the new schedule of the morning Delhi-Bhubaneswar flight UK709 and return flight UK732 while UK709 has been re-scheduled by more than an hour, UK732 maintained same timing, that leaving a huge gap of more then 2 hours between the two flights. Now there are two possibilities, either the new timing for UK732 not updated yet in Vistara's booking engine or this leads to speculations whether Vistara to launch new routes from Bhubaneswar in summer 2016 season. Because if the airline launches morning Bhubaneswar flight either from Mumbai or Bengaluru then only the gap can be justified. 

Winter schedule (current):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 733
Delhi: 07:35
Bhubaneswar: 09:40
Daily
UK 781
Delhi: 16:25
Bhubaneswar: 18:35
Daily

UK 732
Bhubaneswar: 10:25
Delhi: 12:35
Daily
UK 762
Bhubaneswar: 19:20
Delhi: 21:25
Daily


Summer schedule (new):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 709
Delhi: 06:10
Bhubaneswar: 08:15
1,2,3,4,5
UK 902
Delhi: 18:25
Bhubaneswar: 20:35
Daily

UK 732
Bhubaneswar: 10:25
Delhi: 12:35
1,2,3,4,5
UK 760
Bhubaneswar: 21:10
Delhi: 23:20
Daily


Delhi-Goa
Although Vistara had stopped booking for its second weekend only frequency on the Delhi-Goa sector sometime back, the airline will continue with its 9x weekly flights on the Delhi-Goa sector which is a combination of daily flights and a 2x daily weekend service. In fact it has come up with a better schedule for the weekend flights on Delhi-Goa routes.  


Winter schedule (current):

Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 847
Delhi: 11:10
Goa: 13:45
Daily
UK 877
Delhi: 13:50
Goa: 16:30
6,7

UK 862
Goa: 14:25
Delhi: 17:15
Daily
UK 878
Goa: 17:10
Delhi: 19:55
6,7

Summer schedule (new):

Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 859
Delhi: 09:00
Goa: 11:40
6,7
UK 847
Delhi: 11:00
Goa: 13:50
Daily

UK 856
Goa: 12:15
Delhi: 15:00
6,7
UK 862
Goa: 14:25
Delhi: 17:05
Daily

Delhi-Guwahati-Bangdogra-Delhi
Vistara has kept its schedule of Guwahati and Bagdogra routes almost unchanged. Although the airline is expected to add new capacity on CAT-II & CAT-IIA routes, but Vistara has two options of either adding additional capacity on the existing DEL-GAU-IXB-DEL sector or opening new stations like Srinagar from Delhi. 

Delhi-Hyderabad
Delhi-Hyderabad sector is of particular interest while Vistara is re-scheduling most of its morning flights with early morning departures, it is delaying the departure of morning Delhi-Hyderabad flight UK829 by 35 minutes in the summer schedule. If we recall, when Vistara launched its 13 weekly flights on Delhi-Hyderabad sector in March 2015, rival full-service carrier Jet Airways used to serve the route with one daily flight. From then onward, Jet has increased frequency from 1 to 4 daily. Now in summer 2016 season, Jet Airways is reducing its daily frequency to 3 by withdrawing morning Delhi-Hyderabad flight 9W647 (Delhi departure 07:10). It can not be a coincidence that Vistara now re-schedules its morning flight (Delhi departure 07:15) in Jet Airways's timing.  


Winter schedule (current):

Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 829
Delhi: 06:40
Hyderabad: 08:50
1,2,3,4,5,6
UK 879
Delhi: 17:15
Hyderabad: 19:25
Daily

UK 830
Hyderabad: 09:30
Delhi: 11:40
1,2,3,4,5,6
UK 870
Hyderabad: 20:05
Delhi: 22:15
Daily

Summer schedule (new):

Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 829
Delhi: 07:15
Hyderabad: 09:20
1,2,3,4,5,6
UK 879
Delhi: 17:10
Hyderabad: 19:20
Daily

UK 830
Hyderabad: 10:00
Delhi: 12:10
1,2,3,4,5,6
UK 870
Hyderabad: 19:55
Delhi: 22:05
Daily

Delhi-Lucknow
Vistara has almost maintained its winter schedule of Delhi-Lucknow sector in the summer schedule. Only the mid-day Delhi-Lucknow flight UK970 has been re-scheduled by half an hour to have better connection to Mumbai flight both way.

Winter schedule (current):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 927
Delhi: 07:25
Lucknow: 08:40
Daily
UK 970
Delhi: 12:10
Lucknow: 13:20
Daily

UK 936
Lucknow: 09:25
Delhi: 10:30
Daily
UK 933
Lucknow: 14:00
Delhi: 15:05
Daily

Summer schedule (new):

Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 927
Delhi: 07:30
Lucknow: 08:40
Daily
UK 970
Delhi: 11:40
Lucknow: 12:45
Daily

UK 936
Lucknow: 09:25
Delhi: 10:40
Daily
UK 933
Lucknow: 13:20
Delhi: 14:30
Daily


Delhi-Mumbai
As of now, Vistara has largely kept its schedule for flights unchanged on the Delhi-Mumbai route. The route is also the prime focus of the airline, with 8 flights operating each way on weekdays. The airline is re-scheduling the flight UK993 on Delhi-Mumbai route from post-lunch hours to during evening peaks hours. As of today, there will be 55 weekly flights operating each way in summer schedule compared to 53 weekly flights being operated at present. But these remain tentative, as the airline expected add additional frequency on the sector soon. We will discuss the Delhi-Mumbai sector on a separate blog later.

Delhi-Pune
On the Delhi-Pune sector, Vistara to continue with its present schedule in the summer 2016 season, as of today.

Delhi-Varanasi
On Delhi-Varanasi sector, the airline is making minor changes in the summer 2016 season, like delaying the departure of the Delhi-Varanasi flight by half an hour.  

Winter schedule (current):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 990
Delhi: 12:50
Varanasi: 14:15
Daily

UK 969
Varanasi: 14:55
Mumbai: 16:20
Daily

Summer schedule (new):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 994
Delhi: 13:20
Varanasi: 14:45
Daily

UK 993
Varanasi: 15:20
Delhi: 16:45
Daily

Delhi-Bengaluru
The Delhi-Bengaluru sector is one of those where it is widely anticipated that Vistara to add frequency in the near future. Currently, it flies only one daily flight each way between Delhi and Bengaluru, a morning Delhi-Bengaluru flight with an evening return. There has been huge demand from the passengers for a morning Bengaluru-Delhi flight with an evening return. If one looks at the new summer schedule of the Mumbai-Bengaluru sector where the Mumbai-Bengaluru early evening flight has been re-scheduled to late hours where the aircraft eventually be parked at Bengaluru Airport (If not operating more red-eyes). The decision to park an aircraft in Bengaluru at night is a major indication that the airline will soon launch a morning Bengaluru-Delhi flight. It seems the airline going to launch a new evening Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi flight while continuing with morning DEL-BLR-BOM flight. And of course a new morning BLR-DEL flight in the morning with the aircraft parked at Bengaluru Airport.

Winter schedule (current):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 889
Delhi: 06:25
Bengaluru: 09:10
1,2,3,4,5
UK 889
Delhi: 07:35*
Bengaluru: 10:15
6,7

UK 876
Bengaluru: 19:35
Delhi: 22:20
Daily


Summer schedule (new):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 889
Delhi: 05:55
Bengaluru: 08:35
1,2,3,4,5,6
UK 889
Delhi: 07:35
Bengaluru: 10:15
7

UK 836
Bengaluru: 20:50
Delhi: 23:40
Daily


Mumbai-Bengaluru
Vistara is making drastic changes in the summer schedule of the Mumbai-Bengaluru route where the early evening Mumbai-Bengaluru flight has been re-scheduled to late hours which eventually lead to that aircraft being parked in Bengaluru at night (discussed above). But as the summer schedule is coming out just, it will take time to get the big picture. Few questions remained unanswered for now, for example with evening BOM-BLR flight UK850 being re-scheduled to late hours how it will operate the evening BLR-DEL flight UK836, will there be any evening Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi flight? Or the evening Mumbai-Bengaluru flight will continue?

Winter schedule (current):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 850
Mumbai: 17:15
Bengaluru: 18:55
Daily

UK 875
Bengaluru: 09:50
Mumbai: 11:35
1,2,3,4,5
UK 875
Bengaluru: 11:00
Mumbai: 12:40
6,7


Summer schedule (new):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 850
Mumbai: 21:55
Bengaluru: 23:35
Daily

UK 875
Bengaluru: 09:25
Mumbai: 11:15
Daily

Mumbai-Goa
It seems Vistara has added a second frequency on the Mumbai-Goa sector which is operating on weekend (6,7) only, taking the number of total weekly flights on the route to 9, much like its service on the Delhi-Goa route. Although the airline has made no announcements or promotions regarding its second frequency on Mumbai-Goa route. As of today, tickets for the weekend only flights are not available for booking beyond 26 March  2016, and it is not likely to continue with its 9x weekly flights and to operate only daily flights UK820 on the Mumbai-Goa sector in the summer 2016 season.

Winter schedule (current):


Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 838
Mumbai: 10:50
Goa: 11:55
6,7
UK 820
Mumbai: 13:45
Goa: 14:45
Daily

UK 845
Goa: 12:35
Mumbai: 13:50
6,7
UK 996
Goa: 13:25
Mumbai: 16:35
Daily

Summer schedule (new):

Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destinations: Arrival
Frequency
UK 820
Mumbaii: 11:45
Goa: 12:50
Daily

UK 902
Goa: 13:25
Mumbai: 14:45
Daily

1 comment:

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