Vistara today announced resumption of its domestic flights from 25 May 2020, following an order of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India. The airline will temporarily operate on a reduced network and scale up gradually, subject to necessary regulatory approvals on the revised schedule of operations. Vistara will follow strict compliance with all new guidelines issued by the authorities across touchpoints to ensure the health and safety of all passengers and staff.
Vistara’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Leslie Thng said, “Aviation is a growth engine for the economy and resumption of air travel will give great impetus to the government’s overall efforts in helping the country eventually return to normalcy. We thank the government for taking this step and for their consultative approach in putting together the new SOPs/guidelines for all stakeholders in the aviation sector. We will support the government’s initiatives and maintain the highest level of safety, hygiene and security in our operations to provide a flying experience to passengers that they can continue to trust.”
Vistara will be operating a reduced number of flights for the next few weeks, connecting 24 cities across the country. As part of the new SOPs/guidelines issued by the Govt. of India, the airline will take multiple measures to minimise contact between passengers and staff and for overall health and safety reasons. This includes but is not limited to temporary suspension of Vistara’s well-regarded on-board meal service, mandatory web check-in and self-printing of boarding pass and baggage tags for all passengers, implementing baggage limitations with only one check-in bag and one piece of carry-on bag allowed and acceptance of passengers after certification of their health status on the mandatory contact tracing Aarogya Setu app.
Health and hygiene inside the cabin are ensured in all of Vistara’s aircraft manufactured by Airbus and Boeing that use multiple highly efficient airflow and filtration systems that continuously refresh cabin air with air from outside. Powerful HEPA filters trap 99.9% of particulates such as viruses (including coronaviruses), bacteria and fungi and purify the air inside the cabin every two to three minutes, thereby making flying a highly safe mode of transportation.
To complement all health and safety measures, customers will be required to report to the airport at least two hours prior to their flight’s departure, factoring in more time required to maintain social distancing norms and to clear necessary security/health checks. Each customer will be given a safety kit by the airline consisting of a face mask, face shield and sanitiser. They will be required to wear face masks at all times throughout their journey – at the airport and on board their flights – and use hand sanitizers frequently. Scanners will be used at the boarding gates to enable self-boarding wherever possible, while following a staggered and sequential boarding process. Vistara will temporarily suspend priority boarding and follow reverse zone boarding, with the passenger in the last row entering the aircraft first.
All of Vistara’s staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, including cabin crew that will wear protective gowns, face masks and face shields during the flights. Vistara will also ensure disinfectant cleaning of all aircraft at the turn-around of every single flight and deep cleaning of all aircraft every 24 hours with approved disinfectant cleaners. All aircraft will also be equipped with with surgical masks, gloves, sanitizer wipes, and contact-less infrared thermometers for any need arising on board.