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NEW DELHI : Full-service airline Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, on Thursday said it will operate direct bi-weekly flights between New Delhi and Paris from 7 November under a bilateral air bubble agreement between the two countries.

At present, national carrier Air India Limited is the only other Indian carrier that operates a non-stop flight between the two countries. French airline Air France also operates direct flights in the same sector.

Vistara will operate its Boeing 787 aircraft on New Delhi-Paris route, the airline said in a statement.

India has banned scheduled international flights till at least 30 September.

Dedicated cargo flights and flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts with as many as 28 countries continue to operate.

“These flights give us the opportunity to further build our presence in Europe and to present India’s finest full-service carrier to the world," said Vistara's chief executive Leslie Thng.

Vistara currently operates international flights to London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Dubai, Sharjah and Male following the easing of covid-related curbs in those regions.

“Our preference would be to go back to cities where we used to operate like Singapore, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Colombo, and so on," the airline's chief commercial officer Vinod Kannan recently told Mint.

The airline currently has a fleet of 48 aircraft, including 37 Airbus A320, three Airbus A321neo, six Boeing 737-800NG, and two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Mint had on 8 September reported that Vistara's plans to fly to the US have been delayed despite the airline getting required permissions to operate such flights, as global deliveries of Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) remain halted pending approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

For Vistara to launch additional flights especially on long-haul routes like the US, it will have to await the delivery of its third Boeing 787 aircraft as two existing 787 planes are currently being used to service other international and domestic sectors.

 

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