July 31, 2018

Vistara empowers customers to choose best-suited fare with 'Freedom Fares'; announces wireless streaming in-flight entertainment service

  • Customers to enjoy the freedom to select fare by picking specific attributes they most value
  • Introduces a new fare type - ‘Economy Lite’ - to better meet needs of customers that do not require certain features to be included in the fare
  • Invests in enhancing overall travel experience with ‘Vistara World’ – complimentary wireless streaming of in-flight entertainment content on customers’ smart handheld devices and laptops

New Delhi: Vistara, India’s finest full-service carrier, today announced the launch of ‘Vistara Freedom Fares’ – an intuitive, menu-based pricing model designed to empower customers with the freedom to choose the kind of fare and services that suit them best, giving them the freedom to plan their journeys, their way.

Additionally, the airline announced the introduction of ‘Vistara World’, its free in-flight entertainment system with video and audio content of more than 70 hours streamed wirelessly onto personal handheld devices and laptops.

Effective 02 August, 2018, travellers will have the freedom to choose from thoughtfully designed bundles of features and services at different price points for their preferred flight and class of service or select them à-la-carte, while never having to compromise on globally-praised service standards and an unrivalled in-flight experience. The introduction of ‘Vistara Freedom Fares’ is based on a comprehensive customer research and feedback, which helped the airline observe the need to offer services on a pay-for-what-you-value basis, given the changing preferences of new-age travellers. Vistara is the first full-service carrier in India to introduce the customer-centric model and redefine full-service flying, yet again.

‘Vistara World’ will be rolled out fleet-wide in August 2018, subject to regulatory approvals. It will offer a content-rich multimedia library that includes music in genres like Pop, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Electronica, English Retro and Indian, Bollywood and Hollywood movies of various categories such as Drama, Romance, Comedy, Thriller, Action, Adventure, etc., Indian and International short programs as well as a variety of reading material including Vistara’s in-flight magazine.

Explaining the rationale behind these landmark steps, Leslie Thng, chief executive officer, Vistara, said, “Consumers today have a vast range of options and the one-size-fits-all approach is increasingly becoming redundant. It is the age of flexibility; of deciding for yourself; of doing things at your own terms. We observed this consumer behaviour over a period of time and are delighted to bring ‘Vistara Freedom Fares’ to the discerning travellers, while also further enhancing our product and service portfolio with ‘Vistara World’. Our success thus far has been possible by challenging the status quo and by being nimble as an organisation which, we are confident, will take us a long way.”

Sanjiv Kapoor, chief strategy and commercial officer, Vistara, elaborated, “Our new fare model also addresses customer feedback related to change and cancel fees. With ‘Vistara Freedom Fare’, we’re offering flexi fares at reasonable add-on rates to standard fares, and in exchange giving customers much lower or zero cancel fees along with other enhanced benefits. Together with the introduction of wireless streaming of in-flight entertainment content, the attractive bundled features will provide more choices and value to customers and also help us enhance overall customer satisfaction and experience.”

As part of ‘Vistara Freedom Fares’, Economy Class fares are called ‘Lite’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Flexi’, while those for Premium Economy and Business Class are named ‘Value’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Flexi’.

  • ‘Lite’ fares will be available in Economy Class only, and is a new category of fares for customers seeking simply the lowest fares, that does not include complimentary meals. However a buy-on-board option of snacks and drinks will be available. While ‘Economy Lite’ customers will continue to earn Club Vistara points, they will not earn elite-qualification ‘tier points’. ‘Economy Lite’ fares are not upgradeable, non-changeable and non-refundable (though taxes are always fully refundable). The free checked baggage allowance remains at 15kg, but is restricted to one piece of checked baggage only.
  • ‘Value’ fares are available in Premium Economy and Business Class, and are designed for those who seek the most attractive fares in these classes. These fares are essentially the same as the competitive fares that are available today, and offer similar features as well as 100% CV and elite qualification points. Changes and cancellations are possible with a fee. ‘Value’ fares are, however, not upgradeable.
  • ‘Standard’ fares, available in all classes, are priced at a reasonable add-on to ‘Lite’ and ‘Value’ fares, and offer additional benefits such as additional baggage allowance and greater flexibility with lower change and cancel fees. These fares are upgradeable using upgrade fee, CV points or vouchers.
  • ‘Flexi’ fares, also available in all class, are priced at an affordable add-on to ‘Standard’ fares, and offer nil change and cancellation fees (conditions apply), in addition to certain other enhanced benefits such as additional free baggage allowance and priority check-in, baggage handling, and boarding. These fares are designed for those who seek the maximum convenience and flexibility in whichever class they choose to travel, and are willing to pay a reasonable premium for it.

Club Vistara Silver, Gold and Platinum customers opting for ‘Lite’ fares will continue to get soft benefits such as priority handling, additional baggage allowance, and lounge access, as applicable.

Bookings with ‘Vistara Freedom Fares’ start 02 August 2018, and will be available on all major GDSes and channels of distribution including web, mobile app, OTAs, and travel agents. 'Economy Lite' fares will be available for flights operating August 29, 2018 onwards.

As the highest-rated Indian airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor, and winner of several “Best in Industry” awards, Vistara has consistently raised the bar for operations and service delivery in the Indian aviation industry in a short span of less than four years. The airline today serves 22 destinations with over 800 flights a week and a fleet of 21 aircraft. Recently, Vistara expressed its intent to order a combination of firm and leased aircraft totalling 50 from the Airbus A320neo family as well as six firm Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

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