Vistara, India’s latest full-service carrier, unveiled its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (a first for India), which touched down in Delhi on 29 February 2020. While the plane is Vistara’s 40th to join the fleet, as the rest of the fleet are narrow-body aircraft, this arrival also brought with it, the airline’s new cabin products for long-haul international flights, soon to launch.
On the occasion, Mr. Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “With the unveiling of our new cabin products, today’s milestone reflects Vistara’s deep-rooted commitment to providing our customers with a premium travel experience like no other carrier in India. We are confident that millions of our loyal customers will be delighted to have the choice of flying their favourite Indian airline now on long haul international routes as well.”
It’s clear to see Vistara’s connection to Singapore Airlines, opting for a similar 787 ‘Opal’ Business Class seat by Stelia. However, the airline has opted for Recaro’s PL3530 in Premium economy and RECARO CL3710 in economy. It seems that Vistara have spent some time in trim and finish to unify the cabin, but has clearly focussed on seat product, rather than an overarching environmental design including bulkheads, curtains, toilets and galleys giving a clean, sterile cabin design.
Vistara’s Dreamliners will feature 30 Business Class seats in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, upholstered in premium leather which recline into fully-flat beds and offer direct aisle access to every passenger in the cabin. Among other features, Business Class customers enjoy 18” HD touchscreen in-seat TV, a video handset to navigate the IFE system and ambient lighting in the generous stowage compartments and footwell area. It’s no different to that found on Singapore Airlines, or the more heavily customised version on Turkish Airlines – you can find a review of that product here.
Sat behind the Business Class cabin, Premium Economy has just 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. This is a relatively new product to the India market, so it’s smaller size could be attributed to the market needing to accustom itself to this new class.
Also upholstered in premium genuine leather, the seats have individually adjustable calf rests, extendable footrests, 7” reclining backrests, six-way adjustable headrests, a 13” HD touchscreen seatback monitor and a Touchpad Handset Control to navigate the IFE system.
While it’s positioned as a premium carrier, the Economy Class has 248 seats in the typical, slightly tighter 3-3-3 configuration. A high literature pocket ensures greater legroom, meeting the comfort needs of any passenger on a long flight and offering the best value for money.
Vistara’s IFE system will provide passengers a rich multimedia library of nearly 700 hours of wide-ranging engaging content that includes movies, TV shows and audio compilations of various genres as well as games. The aircraft will be equipped with wireless connectivity, allowing passengers to access the internet through onboard Wi-Fi and 3G mobile data. Vistara will be the first Indian carrier to offer inflight connectivity to its passengers.
Vistara’s Dreamliners come with a special wellness lighting solution called Human Centric Lighting developed by jetlite and tailored for Vistara to enhance passenger well-being. The lighting considerations incorporate the chronobiological impact, corporate design and effect on colours and materials used in the cabin. By adjusting light colour and intensity throughout flights, it helps travellers to adjust their sleep schedules and arrive well-rested and feeling less jet-lagged. Vistara is Asia’s first airline to offer cabin lighting of this sort.
“With this aircraft, we take Vistara’s globally-acknowledged five-star service to an exceptional technical and engineering platform. We offer a unique combination to travellers around the world coming to India and present to India, its favourite airline in a new avatar. Whichever cabin our customers choose to fly – Business, Premium Economy or Economy, we have made sure our product delights everyone from the minute they step onboard.”, added Mr. Leslie Thng.
The overall hard-product is sound, and will certainly position Vistara as an international product to be considered for long-haul flights, but with long-haul flights comes new amenities, services and connections which – if executed well – will set it on its road to become the next international-standard carrier for India.