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SIA’s Vistara holds plans for direct U.S. flights amid Boeing 787 delays

SIA’s Vistara holds plans for direct U.S. flights amid Boeing 787 delays

Vistara, Singapore Airlines' Indian subsidiary, has reportedly canceled plans to commence direct flights to the U.S. following delays in deliveries of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The remaining four Dreamliners would be incorporated into Vistara, a joint venture involving SIA and the Tata Group of India, by March 2024, according to chief executive Vinod Kannan. The first of the four aircraft will arrive in April, while Vistara is awaiting confirmation from Boeing regarding the precise delivery date.

In August, Boeing received approval from the U.S. regulators to resume 787 aircraft deliveries. After issues were found, the jetliner's deliveries were generally put on hold in late 2020, but airlines were still allowed to fly their current 787s as the problems were not viewed as safety concerns.

Kannan added that Vistara will restructure its plans to fly only routes that need fewer planes, spanning places such as Paris, London, and Frankfurt. The airline will increase its frequency and connect those overseas locations to other regions of India, possibly Mumbai.

The chief executive further claimed that running daily flights from India to the United States requires a lot of resources, and Vistara will have a huge gap in the needed widebody aircraft to get there on account of the 787 jets' delayed deliveries.

Reportedly, there are now three 787s in the airline's fleet, one of which is a secondhand aircraft leased for three years.

Vistara will merge with Air India as Tata attempts to turn around its struggling aviation business. Vistara achieved profitability for the first time in the quarter, including December, driven by the growth of its worldwide network.

The fact that Air India offers direct flights to the U.S. without a layover in the Middle East is also giving it a significant edge over other regional airlines.

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