Asia Pacific Regional Airline Of The Year: Vistara
This is awarded to the regional airline that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and demonstrated innovation in the regional aviation sector. (Note that this award is not limited to operators of regional aircraft; it is intended to recognise smaller airlines – fewer than 10 million annual passengers – that either do not operate any long haul services, or only operate limited long haul services.)
Vistara was selected for its strong consistent growth, even before the collapse of Jet Airways in Apr-2019. Launched in 2015 and 51% owned by Indian industrial giant Tata Sons and 49% owned by Singapore Airlines, Vistara‘s traffic grew by 30% in 2018 to more than five million passengers and its seat count is up by 40% in 2019. In a highly competitive domestic market dominated by LCCs, this was a substantial achievement.
Vistara currently operates 40 domestic routes, serving 30 cities in India. It has recently added international routes with the launch of Mumbai–Dubai, Delhi–Bangkok and both Mumbai and Delhi to Singapore in Aug-2019 and Mumbai–Colombo on 25-Nov-2019.
CAPA Chairman Emeritus Peter Harbison said: “Vistara‘s growth from start up in 2015 to become India‘s sixth largest airline by seats in 2019 demonstrates that there is still a place for a well executed full service business model in a market where LCCs have more than three quarters of domestic seats and approaching one third of international seats. Vistara’s recent move into international operations promises to add a new dimension to the India market.”
Vistara Chief Executive Officer Leslie Thng said: “Our vision is to establish Vistara as a global full service airline that India will be proud of. This recognition by CAPA reaffirms our confidence in realising this vision as we broaden our horizons and prepare to launch medium and long-haul international operations while bolstering our presence in India. Our effort continues to be to innovate and stay relevant in the dynamic aviation industry, to maintain the highest standards of operations and to focus on delivering consistent, world-class service to customers.”