Vistara Expands Middle East Presence

Oman will become a new country on the Indian carrier’s route map.

Credit: Airbus/Bengt Lange

Indian airline Vistara is launching its first scheduled passenger service to Oman, with the country’s capital Muscat (MCT) set to receive daily service from Mumbai (BOM).

Flights between the destinations will commence on Dec. 12 using Airbus A320neo aircraft. Muscat will become the fourth point in the Middle East to be served by the carrier, alongside Abu Dhabi (AUH), Dubai (DXB) and Jeddah (JED).

“Given the strong bilateral ties and the thriving trade and investment relations between India and Oman, this new route will further aid the growing traffic between the two countries,” Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said.

“The capital city of Muscat continues to attract a significant number of expats, traders, business travelers, and high-end leisure travelers from India who will now have the choice of flying business class and premium economy.”

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Vistara will face competition from four other airlines on the Mumbai-Muscat sector. Oman Air serves the 1,590-km (859-nm) route twice a day, Air India and IndiGo each offer daily flights, and Go First provides a 4X-weekly operation.

More On Oman

In total, there are 12,970 two-way weekly seats available between the two cities at the present time, compared with 13,860 during the same week in 2019. Vistara’s entry to the market will add a further 2,296 seats.

In the wider India-Oman market, Air India offers routes to Muscat from Chennai (MAA) and Delhi (DEL), while Air India Express serves Muscat from nine regional cities in India, and Salalah (SLL) from one. Oman Air also offers seven more India-Oman routes, SalamAir provides four, and IndiGo and Go First have two and one route respectively in addition to their BOM-MCT services.

Oman is home to a large Indian expatriate community and the two countries are important trading partners. There are about 600,000 Indian expatriates who live in Oman, making up about 20% of the country’s total population, while bilateral trade totaled almost $10 billion in 2021.

Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, is currently operating a network of 66 nonstop routes, providing 318,464 weekly seats. At this time three years ago, the airline offered 44 routes and 227,884 weekly seats.