Vistara’s New A321neo Features Flat Beds

Filed Under: Other Airlines

A few months ago Vistara took delivery of its very first Boeing 787-9, and now the airline has taken delivery of its very first Airbus A321neo. Both of these planes represent exciting developments for the airline, and for Indian aviation overall.

What is Vistara?

Vistara is a Delhi-based airline that’s a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines. The airline has been around since 2015, and currently operates a fleet of a few dozen planes, comprised mostly of A320s, A320neos, and 737-800s.

Vistara A320

The airline is taking its fleet to the next level, as it accepts delivery of six Boeing 787-9s, and six Airbus A321neos. The first 787-9 joined the fleet back in March, while the first A321neo joined the fleet this month.

Vistara 787-9

Keep in mind that Vistara has a partnership with United Airlines, allowing MileagePlus members to earn and redeem miles for travel on its flights, so these are flights that are accessible with miles.

New Vistara Airbus A321neo

Vistara has just taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo. The aircraft arrived in Delhi from Airbus’ final assembly line in Hamburg. The planes are on lease from Air Lease Corporation, as part of the 50 A320neo family aircraft that were ordered back in 2018.

Vistara A321neo

Vistara’s A321neos feature three classes of service (kind of) and 188 seats, so let’s take a look at what we can expect onboard…

Vistara A321neo business class

Vistara’s A321neos feature a total of 12 fully flat business class seats, making Vistara the first Indian airline to have flat beds on narrow body aircraft.

Vistara selected Collins Aerospace Diamond seats, which are in a 2-2 configuration, and are similar to what you’ll find on many other airlines (including La Compagnie, if we’re talking about A321neo operators).

While not a cutting edge seat, the fact that these seats are on narrow body aircraft is still pretty great.

Vistara’s A321neo business class seats feature 63″ of pitch, 16″ HD touchscreen TVs, four-way headrests, and USB ports and three pin charging points. The airline claims that seats recline into 84″ flat beds (that’s seven feet), though I’m skeptical of that being accurate.

Vistara A321neo business class

Vistara A321neo premium economy

Vistara’s A321neos feature a total of 24 premium economy seats. The concept of premium economy on narrow body aircraft is still pretty rare, though don’t get too excited. While Vistara is calling this a premium economy cabin, in reality it’s more of an extra legroom cabin than anything, as seats are still in a 3-3 configuration.

On the plus side, the cabin has proper separation from economy, with a curtain. Seats feature 33″ of pitch, 10″ HD touchscreen TVs, four-way headrests, and USB ports and three pin charging points.

Vistara A321neo premium economy

Vistara A321neo economy

Vistara’s A321neos feature a total of 152 economy seats, with just 29″ of pitch, so this is a rather tight cabin. On top of that, seats feature 10″ HD touchscreen TVs, four-way headrests, and USB ports and three pin charging points.

Vistara A321neo economy

What routes will Vistara’s A321neos fly?

Vistara hasn’t yet revealed what routes the A321neo will fly, though the airline does have a strategy of international expansion with both the 787-9 and A321neo. The A321neo has a range of up to 4,600 miles, so it could easily serve many destinations in Asia and Europe.

Given the current pandemic and restrictions on international travel it may be a while until we actually see these planes flying long haul, so we’ll have to be a bit patient.

Bottom line

Vistara really is upping the game in Indian aviation. First the airline took delivery of 787-9s with India’s new best business class product, and now the airline is the first Indian carrier to fly the A321neo, and also the first Indian airline to have flat beds on a narrow body.

It goes without saying that this isn’t exactly the ideal time for an airline to take delivery of new planes like this, though I’m sure with time this will be a great addition to Vistara’s fleet.

What do you make of Vistara’s A321neo?

Comments
  1. I think you sum it up very well–exciting developments.
    Great to see some innovation in the Indian market. And worthy of the promoters of UK (TATAs and SiA).

    Would be great to flying in Biz, PE…. but that 29 pitch in economy is tight. especially for BOM/DEL to Singapore where i see this plane attracting a good crowd (both Biz + folks like me who are willing to pay some premium in Economy over the Indigos, Spicejets).

    As a 6 foot tall guy, the 29 pitch is not good for me. and the PE pricing might be out of scope if they dont price it right (though i shall eye it closely!)

    Now, the waiting game to when we can fly & travel again!
    Cheers!

  2. Just a point of correction – Indigo is actually the first Indian carrier to fly the A321neo. They took delivery of these last year.

  3. One would think that if Vistara were to fly long-haul any time soon, they’d do so with the A321neos instead of the 787s

  4. They do differentiate Premium Economy in the soft product.

    On the domestic flights where a meal (lunch/dinner) is included, PE gets a choice between 3 options, which compares to 2 for Y and 4 for J.

    J & PE also get Starbucks Coffee, while Y gets regular unbranded brew.

  5. I literally wouldn’t buy a ticket for a seat with 29 inch pitch. Even 31 almost unbearable. 29, really?!

  6. Most people in India aren’t 6′ tall. Plus it is a very price sensitive market. 29″ will work fine on international flights as long as there is free alcohol + food and a good choice of movies / TV shows.

  7. 29” is legroom is not enough, but in general Indians aren’t that tall. So, it may not be all that bad.

  8. A 29 inch seat pitch even on a 5 hour hop would be a no for me let alone on an 8 hour flight to Europe. Vistara premium exonomy is a bit of a rip off to me- virtually no differentiation.
    I have flown and have never really understood the value proposition. Perhaps that’s why they have decided to squeeze economy to 29 inches.

  9. Vistara seems like a decent airline, flew them from Mumbai to Delhi last year in “PE”. The food was surprisingly decent and can’t complain about anything else really. Cheap tickets too.

  10. @Mark

    “I literally wouldn’t buy a ticket…”

    If you had just said “I wouldn’t buy a ticket…” it would still make sense, you know. No need to use that wordfart, a.k.a. ‘literally’. It’s much over-used/misused thanks to Valley girls and assorted nitwits of a certain age group.

  11. 33″ pitch is not extra legroom; it’s what used to be standard lo those many years ago.
    29″ pitch is unacceptable in my book

    No way for this hard product

  12. They really need to order A321XLR for their Asian and European expansion. B787-9 is way too big. Especially during this pandemic.

  13. Hoping to see this between DEL and BOM for the early morning and late evening for my daily commute.

  14. Vistara has a partnership with British Airways and JAL.
    We should be able to tap into AA miles through BA, may be?

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