Aviation

“India’s potential as a growing aviation market is huge”

Deepak Rajawat, Vistara’s chief commercial officer, says the airline is in a very strong position in the market, especially with more wide-body aircraft steadily joining its fleet.

New Delhi, 23 September 2022: Deepak Rajawat is currently Vistara’s Chief Commercial Officer and has been with the airline since its inception. Rajawat handles a wide range of Vistara’s strategic and commercial functions. Prior to his appointment as Chief Commercial Officer, he was Divisional Vice President and Head of Corporate Planning at Vistara. He is an experienced finance professional with over 17 years of experience.

The Indian market is dominated by low-cost carriers; what are the opportunities and challenges for a full service carrier like Vistara?

India’s potential as a growing aviation market is huge and we believe there are opportunities for all industry players. Vistara fills a certain void in the market as a modern full-service carrier (FSC) that offers the best of Indian hospitality and world-class standards. With more spacious cabins, lower seating density, increased comfort, fine dining and a host of other services, a growing number of travelers continue to prefer full-service carriers. According to reports published in mobilityoutlook.com

In particular, in the context of long-range international operations, the FSC model has been historically successful. With a greater customer preference for non-stop direct connections, Vistara is in a very strong position in the market, especially with more wide-body aircraft steadily joining our fleet.

Has this affected your market share?

The fact that Vistara ranked second in the Indian aviation market with a market share of 10.4% in July 2022 is an indication of our growing popularity.

India is a very price sensitive market. While we are seeing an increase in preference for premium cabins, especially on metro routes, the situation is different across the network. We are addressing this issue by deploying our economy class aircraft, which are a small part of our current fleet but help us perform well on certain domestic routes. The challenge of high costs with rising fuel prices, high taxes and a fall in the value of the rupee against the dollar is putting pressure on airline profits. To solve this problem, we control our non-customer costs and constantly try to make our cost structure more economical through innovative approaches.

What are the emerging trends in air travel demand in the Indian market?

Consumer behavior and the very nature of travel have undergone significant changes since the start of the pandemic. Safety and hygiene are now key factors for customers when choosing a carrier, and so airlines are doing everything they can to improve their processes to restore passenger confidence. There has also been rapid adoption of contactless and paperless travel technologies, effectively accelerating the industry’s digital transformation process.

Today, people are increasingly opting for online self-service tools for end-to-end transactions, including booking ancillary services, etc. We have also seen a significant increase in customers checking in digitally since the start of the pandemic, making ground operations much more efficient for airlines and customers.

There was also a marked preference for non-stop flights to avoid transit points, especially on long-haul routes, to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus. Most of these trends that have emerged in the last few years, especially during the pandemic, have gained immense popularity and will remain influential.

Can you provide some information about your international operations and key customer segments?

Vistara is committed to expanding its global network and strategically identifying the right opportunities. We currently operate to/from 10 international destinations – London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Paris, Singapore, Dubai, Male, Bangkok, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Jeddah. We will operate daily flights between Mumbai and Abu Dhabi starting October 1, 2022.

In addition, we have increased the number of visits to some major international destinations, including Singapore, London, Bangkok, Dubai, Kathmandu and Dhaka, up to seven times a week. We are also increasing the frequency of flights to/from Frankfurt and Paris by more than 100% starting October 30, 2022 as we prepare to receive our third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which was recently leased. Vistara also offers a wider global network with connectivity through its interline and codeshare partners.

Vistara offers excellent services to its passengers on international routes, which include Forest Essentials toiletries, freshly brewed Starbucks coffee, specially prepared bar menu, in-flight Wi-Fi internet connection, etc., which are highly appreciated by modern travelers. Our customer base on international routes consists of leisure and corporate travelers who not only want to travel from one point to another, but also want a truly world-class flying experience, and Vistara is very well positioned to cater to this segment.

What are the initiatives to provide a contactless experience for customers?

We have taken several measures to ensure customers have safe and smooth flights at all important touch points. Vistara is the first airline to introduce contactless/paperless boarding at select airports in India two years ago. Other technologies such as check-in at the kiosk (Scan-N-Fly), e-boarding passes, e-bag tags and automated baggage claim etc. are all contactless solutions that have helped minimize contact and make travel safer for customers .

On board our A320neo aircraft, we offer contactless in-flight entertainment through Vistara World, allowing customers to enjoy their favorite movies, TV series, news and more. on their personal electronic devices.

Vistara has in many ways pioneered contactless travel and technology in the Indian aviation industry. This has played an important role in serving our customers with care during the pandemic and giving them back their confidence in flying.

Can you provide some information about your international operations and key customer segments?

Vistara is committed to expanding its global network and strategically identifying the right opportunities. We currently operate to/from 10 international destinations – London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Paris, Singapore, Dubai, Male, Bangkok, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Jeddah. We will operate daily flights between Mumbai and Abu Dhabi starting October 1, 2022.

In addition, we have increased the number of visits to some major international destinations, including Singapore, London, Bangkok, Dubai, Kathmandu and Dhaka, up to seven times a week. We are also increasing the frequency of flights to/from Frankfurt and Paris by more than 100% starting October 30, 2022 as we prepare to receive our third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which was recently leased. Vistara also offers a wider global network with connectivity through its interline and codeshare partners.

Vistara offers excellent services to its passengers on international routes, which include Forest Essentials toiletries, freshly brewed Starbucks coffee, specially prepared bar menu, in-flight Wi-Fi internet connection, etc., which are highly appreciated by modern travelers. Our customer base on international routes consists of leisure and corporate travelers who not only want to travel from one point to another, but also want a truly world-class flying experience, and Vistara is very well positioned to cater to this segment.

Can you tell us about the staff, flight schedule and aircraft types?

Vistara connects 30 domestic and ten international destinations with a fleet of 54 aircraft, including 42 Airbus A320s, five Airbus A321neos, five Boeing 737-800NGs and two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. We will start service between Jaipur and Mumbai from 30 September 2022. Operations are managed and managed by around 5,000 employees. We are on track to grow our fleet to strengthen our network around the world, and we expect to reach nearly 70 aircraft by 2023.

http://theaviationtimes.com/indias-potential-as-a-growing-aviation-market-is-immense/ “India’s potential as a growing aviation market is huge”

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