Indian airlines Vistara gets approval for flying to US direct


An Indian commercial airline has gotten approval from the US department of transportation to commence service to and fro India and the US. As of now, only Indian national carrier, Air India operates in the US.

Vistara, a joint venture of TATA sons and Singapore Airlines, is now only the second airline from India to fly directly to the US, after Jet Airways which had stopped its service back in 2019.

A Vistara spokesperson confirmed “reaching out to the relevant authorities in the United States of America to secure permissions to commence operations to the US. While we have received a temporary foreign air carrier permit from the department of transportation, USA, the process is still ongoing. We shall be sharing further details at an appropriate time.”

Vistara is learned to have sought Indian DGCA approval for “extended diversion time operations” or EDTO of 180 minutes for its Dreamliners. This will technically allow the Vistara Dreamliners to mount nonstops to and from both the east and west coasts of North America.

The Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines (SIA) JV had in mid-2018 placed a firm order for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, the first three of which have a range of flying nonstop to Europe, Fast East and Australia. It is learnt that Vistara is likely to opt for the remaining three Dreamliners with an “overhead flight crew rest” (OFCR) option that will have a bunk for crew members.

This will enable the airline to fly nonstop to north coast destinations like New York, Washington and Toronto with two sets of crew operating aircraft by turn.

The US is one of the most important markets for Indian carriers and Covid has led to a preference among flyers to travel direct between the two countries instead of going via hubs in Europe, Gulf and SE Asia. This major shift will benefit carriers offering nonstops between India and North America.