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British Airways has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Vistara (a domestic carrier in India) which will open up more routes for BA flyers within the Indian sub-continent.
Vistara has a pretty impressive looking network within India….
…but, for the time being at least, British Airways flyers will be limited to select routes out of Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.
The new partnership will open up 13 new destinations which should already be bookable via BA.com for travel from 27 September 2018:
Per British Airways:
British Airways customers travelling on the codeshare flights will be able to check their bags straight through to their final destination and both airlines use the same terminals at Delhi and Mumbai airports, making it even easier for customers to connect on to domestic services.
Vistara is a joint venture of Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (Singapore Airlines owns 49% stake) and has only been flying since 2015.
The airline operates a fleet of 20 Airbus A320 aircraft which are configured in a 3-cabin format:
Travelers in all cabins enjoy complimentary meals on Vistara (British Airways only offers a buy-on-board option in its Economy Class cabin) and, amusingly, BA’s new partner offers considerably more room in its Business Class and Premium Economy cabins than you’ll find in any British Airways short-haul premium cabin.
Here are seat details for each cabin according to SeatGuru:
- Business Class: 40″ Pitch/20″ Width
- Premium Economy: 33″ Pitch/18″ Width
- Economy: 30-32″ Pitch/18″ Width
The premium cabins look pretty good too. Here’s Business Class:
And here’s the Premium Economy cabin:
Considering the longest flight BA flyers are likely to encounter on Vistara is a little under 1,300 miles (Delhi – Kochi) and that most flights will be considerably shorter, these are nice-looking premium cabins to be offered.
Lastly, and I suspect this is the bit of news most of you have been waiting for, British Airways has confirmed that the codeshare agreement means that Executive Club members will collect Avios and Tier points when booking BA codes Vistara flights on BA.com.
There is no mention in the press release about the possibility of using Avios for reward flights on Vistara and, as this is still a very new partnership, we can’t read anything into the fact that there isn’t any reward flight availability showing on BA.com just yet – it can take up to a few days for the systems to be fully loaded.
As there isn’t a domestic Indian airline within the oneworld alliance this is an important partnership that British Airways has formed and is one that genuinely opens up new routes to flyers.
I like the fact that Vistara has Singapore Airlines as a major shareholder (that gives me confidence in the operations and the quality of the onboard offering) and I like that we can earn Avios and Tier Points on BA coded flights.
It will be interesting to see if we will be able to book reward flights on Vistara using Avios as there could be some very nice low-tax redemptions available on a number of routes.
Most of the BA coded routes would probably book into Zone 2 of the BA award chart meaning that one-way Business Class redemptions would cost 12,750 Avios (off-peak) and 15,000 (peak) and that’s not bad considering the quality of the cabin that appears to be on offer.
Has anyone had experience of flying with Vistara? If you have, what was the airline like and would you recommend it?