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Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, on Wednesday inaugurated its maiden direct flight to Tokyo, the airline said in a statement.

The inaugural flight departed Delhi at 3 am (Indian Standard Time) on Wednesday and landed at Tokyo (Haneda) at 2.50 pm (Japan Standard Time), the airline said.

The flight will be operated under the air bubble agreement between India and Japan. At present, apart from Vistara, national carrier Air India also operates direct flights between India and Japan.

Vistara will fly once a week between the two cities using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the airline added.

“We are delighted to take India’s finest airline to Japan and provide an unmatched flying experience to our customers that exemplifies modern Indian hospitality with the highest global standards in safety, hygiene and operations," said Vistara’s chief executive officer Leslie Thng said in a statement.

"We look forward to further strengthening our presence on this new route in the coming months," he added.

The Indian government has extended the ban on international commercial flights till 31 July. The ban on scheduled overseas flights was to end on 30 June after a 15-month gap.

Dedicated cargo flights, flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts with select countries will continue to operate, the civil aviation watchdog said.

A bilateral air bubble is a mechanism to resume flights between India and other nations with preconditions during the pandemic.

India currently has a bilateral air bubble agreement with about 28 countries, which include countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK, Uzbekistan, and the US.

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