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Vistara becomes the first Indian airline to operate a wide-body aircraft on a long-haul route using SAF

Vistara SAF Flight B787 9Dreamliner

The special flight, using SAF, was operated on Vistara’ s brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in partnership with Boeing and GE Aerospace.

NEW DELHI – Vistara, India’s full-service carrier and a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, became India’s first carrier to operate a wide-body aircraft using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a long-haul route. The ground-breaking ferry flight from Charleston International Airport, South Carolina to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi was operated in partnership with The Boeing Company and GE Aerospace, on Vistara’ s newest GEnx-powered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, the fourth in its fleet. By using a blend of 30% SAF with 70% conventional jet fuel, Vistara was able to reduce approximately 150,000 pounds of CO₂ emissions over the fuel’s life cycle.

Mr. Vinod Kannan, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “We take immense pride in carrying out another pioneering initiative to operate a wide-body aircraft on a long-haul route using SAF, as we took delivery of our all-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This is an important milestone in our commitment towards achieving carbon neutrality. We thank our partners, Boeing and GE Aerospace, for their support and hope that initiatives such as this, open up more avenues for the industry to increasingly adopt sustainable technologies. Since the very beginning, Vistara had decided to invest in modern and advanced new aircraft with fuel efficient engines, and we remain committed towards reducing carbon emissions across all areas of our operations.”

Mr. Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India said, “We congratulate Vistara on the significant achievement of becoming the first Indian airline to operate a wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787-9, on a long-haul route using SAF. This is a major milestone in the Indian aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonization, and we are proud to have been a partner in this endeavour. Boeing remains committed to working with Vistara and other partners to promote the use of SAF in the Indian aviation industry and around the world, in support of our collective goal of achieving a sustainable future for air travel.”

Mr. Vikram Rai, Country Head – South Asia & Indonesia, GE Aerospace said, “GE Aerospace congratulates Vistara on this milestone. The GEnx engine, like all GE Aerospace engines, can operate on approved SAF blends today. Compatibility with existing aircraft engines is one of the reasons SAF is critical to helping the aviation industry reach its goal to be net zero by 2050 and collaborations like this encouraging greater adoption of SAF globally helps bring us closer to this target. The GEnx is also up to 15% more fuel efficient than its predecessor, helping reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in flight in addition to the benefits of SAF.”

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to conventional jet fuel, lowering carbon emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle, depending on the feedstock. Vistara is constantly looking at improved ways to do business, keeping sustainability at the heart of those innovations and this ferry flight on SAF, another industry first initiative in India, is a testament to that.

The airline is currently working under the TATA Aviation Sustainability Working Group along with the other aviation arms of the TATA group for reducing carbon emissions. Vistara, along with other airline companies of the Tata group – Air India and Air Asia India, recently signed an MoU with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Petroleum to collaborate on the research, development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). The airline would also be jointly working through the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), to lower CO2 emissions for international flights and to curb the industry’s impact on climate change.

Vistara is India’s highest-rated airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor, and it has been the winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards, besides being lauded for world-class cabin cleanliness and upholding high safety standards. The airline has recently been featured amongst World’s Top 20 Airlines while being recognised as the ‘Best Airline in India and Southern Asia’ for the second time in a row, ‘Best Airline Staff Service in India and Southern Asia’ for the fourth consecutive year, ‘Best Cabin Crew in India and Southern Asia’ for the second time in a row and ‘Best Business Class in India and Southern Asia’ at the coveted Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022. Vistara also recently received the ch-aviation Asia’s Third Youngest Airline Fleet award for the second consecutive year.

Vistara announces direct flights between Mumbai and London

Also, the airline announced the addition of a new long-haul route to its growing international network. The airline will be ramping up its presence at LHR (London Heathrow) with direct, 5x weekly flights between Mumbai and London starting 01 June 2023. Vistara will operate its brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, featuring a three-class configuration, on the route as it enhances connectivity between India and the UK. Bookings for the flights are being progressively opened on all channels, including Vistara’s website, mobile app, and through travel agents.

Mr. Vinod Kannan said, “We are delighted to announce Mumbai-London as our fourth route to Europe after connecting Frankfurt, Paris and London with Delhi. The launch of this new route is also a reflection of our customers’ growing preference for Vistara, for travel between India and the UK. This additional gateway also offers our customers more options and flexibility with their travel itineraries while choosing to fly the country’s most loved airline. We look forward to further expanding our presence in Europe, especially with more wide-body aircraft joining our fleet in the coming months.”

Chedule of flights between Mumbai and London (UK) effective 1st June 2023

Sector Flight No. Days of Operation Departure Arrival
Mumbai – London UK 015 Mondays 1350 hrs 1910 hrs
Tuesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

Sundays

1430 hrs 1955 hrs
London – Mumbai UK 016 Mondays 2055 hrs 1015 hrs (+1)
Tuesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

Sundays

2155 hrs 1100 hrs (+1)
* All timings shown are in local time zones, exact timings may differ slightly for respective days of operations

*+1 indicates next-day arrival

** Subject to regulatory approvals

Vistara will accept all eligible customers meeting visa/entry requirements in both countries, as specified by the respective government bodies. Vistara strongly encourages its customers to fully understand these guidelines before making their bookings.

Vistara is India’s highest-rated airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor, and it has been the winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards, besides being lauded for world-class cabin cleanliness and upholding high safety standards. The airline has recently been featured amongst World’s Top 20 Airlines while being recognised as the ‘Best Airline in India and Southern Asia’ for the second time in a row, ‘Best Airline Staff Service in India and Southern Asia’ for the fourth consecutive year, ‘Best Cabin Crew in India and Southern Asia’ for the second time in a row and ‘Best Business Class in India and Southern Asia’ at the coveted Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022. Vistara also recently received the ch-aviation Asia’s Third Youngest Airline Fleet award for the second consecutive year.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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