Vistara and IndiGo are now eyeing the flying rights of grounded Jet Airways for the London route. Both the airlines have informed the ministry that they plan to launch flights on the lucrative route next year. The grounded airline had permission for 28 services from India to London, out of which 14 have already been bagged by Air India. The rest of the international rights will now be split between Vistara and IndiGo.
According to a report in The Economic Times, Vistara plans to launch its flights to London early next year while IndiGo is aiming for the middle of next year. "They are seeking Jet Airways' rights, which may be awarded with a condition that these can be taken back if Jet starts flying back again," a government official told the daily.
The London route is much sought-after by airlines as it is not only lucrative but is also wanted by operators seeking to establish its credentials. Long-haul routes are also more profitable than the ultra long-haul routes.
The bilateral flying rights between India and London restrict the number of flights from Delhi and Mumbai to fifty-six. It however, allows as many flights from other cities as possible. Air India that had permissions to operate 28 flights each per week has been awarded half of Jet's rights. However, it has so far not added any new flight.
Out of all of Jet Airways' flying rights, IndiGo got the largest with 84 flights, followed by SpiceJet at 77 flights, GoAir at 35 flights and Vistara at 28 flights a week.