Vistara, an Indian full-service airline owned by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines , is considering starting direct flights to the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic increases demand for non-stop travel, a senior executive said on Friday.
While the specific timeframe and aircraft requirements are yet to be finalised, Vistara is studying various scenarios for direct flights, Vinod Kannan, chief commercial officer, told Reuters in an interview.
COVID-19 brought air travel to a grinding halt earlier this year as nations imposed travel bans. While travel has resumed to some extent, passenger numbers remain far below previous levels and a full recovery could take years.
Vistara has seen a rise in demand for non-stop flights, as passengers try to avoid stopovers to reduce the risk of getting infected – a trend it expects will continue in the future.
Flag carrier Air India is the only Indian airline currently offering direct flights to the U.S.
“This means there is definitely an opportunity…to fly direct to the U.S., and it is an opportunity we are looking at,” Kannan said.