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India 2021 – List of Posts
Introduction: India 2021, equal measure of frustration and fascination
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Montreal International YUL
Review: Air Canada Montreal to New Delhi, 14 hours in Signature Class
Review: Vistara Business Class, New Delhi to Mumbai
10 Pics – An ode to Mum’s cooking, India
Review: Grand Hyatt Goa, India
COVID Testing in New Delhi, and airport sleeping pods
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge, New Delhi International
Review: Air Canada New Delhi to Toronto, Signature Class Cabin
Air Vistara – Quick Introduction, and Aeroplan partnership
Founded in 2013, Vistara is a full-service airline in India, that was created as a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines. Operating from its hub in New Delhi, Vistara serves 36 destinations with a fleet of 33 Airbus A320, 1 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner™, 1 Airbus A321neo and 7 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. Vistara operates within India and to international destinations – Bangkok, Colombo, Dubai, Kathmandu, Singapore, and London. The Boeing 787-9 has been allocated to the new-ish DEL-LHR route.
On August 25, 2021, Aeroplan and Vistara announced their ‘non-alliance’ partnership which allowed members can accumulate and redeem Aeroplan Miles for travel on Air Vistara routes, including Vistara Business Class cabins.
Vistara Business Class Review – New Delhi to Mumbai
This Vistara flight was segment two of my journey from Montreal to Mumbai, where I flew the inaugural flight from Montreal to New Delhi on Air Canada Signature Class. My flight from New Delhi to Mumbai (UK 981) was a brand new Airbus A20neo, in a three-cabin configuration with 8 Business Class seats in a 2-2 setup.
Although I only had 90 minutes to connect from my international flight, I was able to make it with a bit of luck. My flight from Montreal has arrived 20 minutes ahead of scheduled arrival, and I did not have any checked baggage on this trip. My transfer from international to domestic was seamless and I arrived at my domestic gate just as the pre-boarding announcements had started to roll in.
I boarded the flight through the priority lane, and was welcomed by the friendly crew, and the warmly lit cabin. The brand new A320neo cabin and leather-bound seats looked crisp and inviting.
The seats offered plenty of room to stretch, and enough space to store a small bag below the seat in front (if required).
The tray table was located in the armrest below the window, and was easy to access. The table was not as sturdy as I would have liked, but did it’s job just fine. The individual power outlets, and USB, were located under the shared armrest between the seats. Somewhat surprisingly, for a new aircraft, the buttons to recline the seat were manual push buttons as opposed to the electrical ones in most business class seats.
While the seat backs did not include an IFE screen, the flight was equipped with free content that can be accessed using inflight Wi-Fi. Unfortunately the connection is restricted to ‘Vistara World Network’ content only, so don’t expect to share your selfie from 30,000 ft. in the air.
Vistara World had more than enough Movies and TV content available for the 2 hour flight time on this DEL-BOM route.
Vistara Business Class Review – Food and Beverage service
As I got acquainted to the seat and the cabin, the crew came around with welcome drinks and also noted our dinner preference, in advance of pushback. There were no printed menus at our seats, but the crew confirmed the menu verbally for each passenger, as they went around the cabin.
The welcome drink on UK 981 was this delicious ‘Masala Lemon Water’. If not for single use plastic bottle, I would have loved to stock up on a couple more for the ride.
Food service kicked off shortly after take off. The service was prompt since the crew had already collected our meal preference. Essentially, the meal included a ‘Chicken Dish’ and a Veg option. And without hesitation I had picked the veg option, well, India 🙂
The meal tray was presented with the foil still on, which I did not mind to be honest, in pandemic times. The tray included a salad, veg main course, and a dessert.
- Salad: Cucumber and Tomato salad, with cheddar cheese
- Main: Saag mixed veg, Aloo Gobi, with pulao and roti
- Dessert: Mango and Passion fruit moose, with chocolate shavings on top
Let’s just say it looked good, and tasted even better. Each item on the tray was spot on, without any exaggeration. The food more than made up for the basic presentation of the tray.
And to cap it all off, a good selection of specialty Starbucks coffee was being prepared for individual orders. While I got a simple Americano, other passenger orders included Mochas, and cappuccinos. Was impressive that specialty coffee options were being served on a domestic business class route.
The food service was wrapped up in just over an hour, which left passengers enough time to catch up on shows/movies, or in my case, a nap. But all things could not have been perfect, ofcourse. Shortly after meal service (thank goodness), my neighbor decided that he had had enough of his shoes and socks – ugh. As I learnt, wearing masks in cabin has other benefits too.
Vistara Business Class Review – Take Away
A short nap, and we were already approaching Mumbai – city I adore, and will forever be my first home. I was extremely impressed by the flight, and service onboard. This was my first time flying with Vistara, and I don’t think I would fly any other airline in India, given a choice.
On my return leg BOM-DEL a couple of weeks after this flight, I was on an older Vistara aircraft, older looking cabin, and yet my overall experience was impressive. The crew, food, service, were no different then as they were on this brand new flight. This bodes really well for an airline that is expanding its presence internationally. I would love to try the DEL-LHR on 787-9 soon, the cabin details on that flight look stellar!
Ah, I just flew Vistara recently and didn’t know I could order Starbucks coffee on board. I had a cappuccino in the lounge for this reason. Darn!
Starbucks operate in India in partnership with the TATA group, also co-owners of Vistara. So you can definitely bank on Vistara for serving Starbucks coffee 🙂