Vistara reduces premium seats to boost capacity

Vistara will reduce its premium economy cabin from 36 to 24 seats
Vistara will reduce its premium economy cabin from 36 to 24 seats

Vistara has announced plans to alter the configuration of its aircraft.

The Delhi-based airline currently operates its fleet of Airbus A320s with 148 seats in three cabins – 16 seats in business class, 36 in premium economy and 96 in economy.

But from April 2016, it will reduce its business and premium economy cabins to eight and 24 seats respectively, and increase its economy class cabin to 126 seats. This will raise the total capacity of each aircraft by 10 seats to 158.

Vistara said in a statement that the new configuration would be “better aligned with market demand and customer needs”.

When it launched in January 2015, Vistara focused its marketing efforts on its position as a full-service airline, promising its passengers “spacious seating”.  The airline’s business class seats have 42-inch seat pitch, while the premium economy seats offer a 33-36 inches of space and economy class seats have a 30-inch pitch. But customer demand patterns have driven the shift to the new cabin layouts.

“While there continues to be a good demand for Vistara’s unique business and premium economy cabins on key routes such as between Delhi and Mumbai, the change in configuration will allow the airline to serve other emerging routes,” the airline stated. “To maintain operational flexibility, all aircraft in the Vistara fleet will be retrofitted to the new seating configuration. This will also help the airline to maintain its market leading position in on-time performance.”

Vistara currently operates a fleet of nine A320s and has outstanding orders for a further 11, including seven fuel-efficient A320neos.

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