Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vistara anchors at Port Blair

by Soumen Mukherjee

Vistara adds Port Blair as its 18th destination to its network. The airline to operate daily flight to Port Blair from its Delhi hub via Kolkata from 30 September 2016. It also adds a third daily flight on the Delhi-Kolkata sector from the same day. Vistara is expanding domestic operations with the arrival of its 12th aircraft (likely registration VT-TTM) in late September and Port Blair is in many way the obvious choice for the airline as it was indicated in the blog before. The service launch is perfectly timed given the peak tourists season in Port Blair stars from October onward. The island city is among the top 10 busiest domestic destinations out of Kolkata so the airline opens the second route from Kolkata to Port Blair after Delhi. It becomes only the third destination in Vistara's network where the airline does not fly non-stop from its Delhi hub, Bagdogra and Jammu being the other two. Though primarily focused on business travellers, Vistara has a growing list of leisure destinations including Goa, Jammu, Kochi, Port Blair and Srinagar.
Vistara has to compete four different carriers (two FSCs and two LCCs) on the sector and IndiGo too is expected to launch Port Blair flight later this year. As of 1 July 2016, GoAir, Jet Airways and SpiceJet are the three airlines that operate direct flight on the 2,622 km (1,416 nm) Delhi-Port Blair via Kolkata route. Air India and Alliance Air operate via Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar respectively.  Air India is also present on the 1307 km (706 nm) Kolkata-Port Blair sector. While no airline operates the Delhi-Port Blair leg non-stop, Alliance Air flies CRJ-700 non-stop on the 2,489 km (1,344 nm) Port Blair-Delhi leg and holds the title of flying the longest domestic route in India.
Vistara Delhi-Port Blair one-stop via Kolkata schedule eff 30 September 2016
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
UK 747
Delhi: 07:20
Port Blair: 12:30

UK 778
Port Blair: 13:25
Delhi: 18:50

Vistara Kolkata-Port Blair schedule eff 30 September 2016
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
UK 747
Kolkata: 10:15
Port Blair: 12:30

UK 778
Port Blair: 13:25
Kolkata: 15:40

At present there are three full-service carriers (FSC) operating on the Delhi-Kolkata sector where Air India has the highest (among FSCs) seat-capacity with four daily flights including two on widebody aircraft. With the third daily flight from 30 September, Vistara comes at per with Jet Airways in terms of frequencies. It also makes some changes in its proposed Delhi-Kolkata schedule effective from 30 September 2016. Now Vistara going to operate two evening and one morning flight on Delhi-Kolkata route instead of earlier planned two morning and one evening flight. The airline is going to station one aircraft in Kolkata to operate early morning departure to Delhi. UK 719 and UK 720 are the new flights on the sector.
Vistara Delhi-Kolkata schedule eff 30 September 2016

Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
UK 747
Delhi: 07:20
Kolkata: 09:30
UK 723
Delhi: 17:40
Kolkata: 19:55
UK 719*
Delhi: 19:30
Kolkata: 21:50
UK 720*
Kolkata: 06:55
Delhi: 09:25
UK 778
Kolkata: 16:20
Delhi: 18:50
UK 712
Kolkata: 20:35
Delhi: 23:05

As of May 2016, Vistara's capacity deployment on CAT-II routes is 20% of its CAT-I capacity which is double of the 10% requirement in RDG. There after it added new CAT-I capacity on Delhi-Kolkata sector in June 2016 so the current CAT-II capacity is lower than May 2016 level. And the airline is also likely to reduce Delhi-Srinagar frequencies in the winter lean season where it operates 16 weekly flights at present. So the new CAT-II capacity on the Kolkata-Port Blair sector is going to maintain a decent level of CAT-II capacity over the RDG requirement and provide ample room for the airline to further add new CAT-I capacity in the coming months.


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