Friday, June 10, 2016

Vistara to go Big with Kolkata

by Soumen Mukherjee
Vistara, the premium full service carrier has extended its service to Kolkata with double daily* flights to Delhi commencing today. Kolkata, the fifth busiest airport in India and the busiest airport in Eastern India, becomes the 17th destination of the airline, it also the third busiest domestic route from Delhi Airport. As of today, Vistara operates a total of 457 weekly flights in a network of 36 routes across India. And the airline plans to increase the number of weekly flights to 580 by the start of the winter schedule 2016-17 (effective 30 October 2016) with Kolkata having the third largest operation after Delhi and Mumbai. Vistara seems to be bullish about its prospect in Kolkata as it plans to operate as many as six-seven daily flights from Kolkata on four different routes by the year end. In the immediate term, it is likely to announce the second route from Kolkata by early next week and it would be interesting to see whether it opens the route to a destination within its existing network (like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Guwahati) or launch a all new destination (like Port Blair).
Vistara team during service launch in Kolkata on 9 June 2016


Though starting with double daily flights, Vistara is set to increase Delhi-Kolkata flight frequency with a third daily flight effective from 26 September 2016; Even a forth daily frequency on the sector can not be ruled out. Vistara has to compete with five other carriers (3 LCCs & 2 FSCs) on the 1,316 km (710 nm) Delhi-Kolkata trunk route (CAT-I as per RDG) and one more LCC is expected to join later this year. With Vistara's launch the number of direct (non-stop) flights on the sector reaches to 28 as on 26 September 2016 with two other full-service carriers Air India and Jet Airways operating four and three flights a day respectively. Therefore with three daily flights Vistara positions itself almost at per with its full service competitors. 

Vistara Delhi-Kolkata schedule eff 10 June 2016
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
UK 747*
Delhi: 07:20
Kolkata: 09:30
UK 723
Delhi: 17:55
Kolkata: 20:10
UK 778*
Kolkata: 10:15
Delhi: 12:50
UK 712
Kolkata: 20:50
Delhi: 23:15

Vistara Delhi-Kolkata schedule eff 25-26 September 2016
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
UK 747*
Delhi: 07:20
Kolkata: 09:30
 UK 719
 Delhi: 11:00
Kolkata: 13:15 
UK 723
Delhi: 19:50
Kolkata: 22:05
UK 720*
Kolkata: 06:55
Delhi: 09:25
 UK 778
Kolkata: 10:15 
Delhi: 12:50 
UK 712
Kolkata: 19:35
Delhi: 22:05


As discussed on earlier blogs also, Vistara's Delhi-Kolkata flights schedule (effective 25 September 2016) indicates another sector to be operated from Kolkata between UK 719 and UK 712 (follow above schedule chart). Given the 6 hours 20  minutes window between UK 719 arriving in Kolkata at 13:15 and UK 712 departing from Kolkata at 19:35, a Kolkata-Port Blair-Kolkata flight fits well with block time of 2 hours 15 minutes each way or a Kolkata-Bengaluru-Kolkata flight with block time of  2 hrs 15 mins each way and 35 minutes turnaround time between two consecutive flights.


*  not to operate morning frequency on Sunday.


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