Today’s news in brief:
Vistara takes delivery of second Dreamliner
Vistara’s second Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landed in Delhi today, following a 15-hour flight from Boeing's Everett facility in Washington state.
The plane - registration VT-TSE - is only the second of its kind to be operated by an Indian airline, and will allow Vistara to serve long-haul destinations.
The Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture carrier has a number of Dreamliners on order, though coronavirus has prompted Vistara to work with Boeing to delay the arrival of some new aircraft.
Vistara is expected to soon announce service to London, and is already showing on the Heathrow airport website as a carrier serving the Delhi-London Heathrow route.
Boeing tweeted its congratulations when the aircraft departed Washington at just after 7.30am (local time) on Friday. It landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport at 11.29am (local time) on Saturday, after flying for 15 hours and 20 minutes.
Photo credit: Twitter/ Boeing.
30% fewer miles needed for Etihad redemptions
Etihad has launched a promotion offering a 30% discount on redemption flights, including economy, business class and first class.
The offer is valid for flights on “selected routes” booked by August 27, 2020 for travel from August 13, 2020 up until May 31, 2021, so this promo may be useful if you are happy to take a chance on a booking for next year (when, hopefully, coronavirus disruption has eased).
The discount can only be obtained for bookings through the Etihad Guest program, for flights operated by Etihad (only). Both one-way and return journeys are permitted.
It’s only possible to get the discount on Etihad’s saver level award inventory, called GuestSeats, and not on more expensive OpenSeats.
Bear in mind that Etihad calculates redemption charges by segment, meaning flights from India may start to look expensive. That’s because each leg is priced separately, meaning you’ll be paying for the short flight to Abu Dhabi, plus the next leg to your final destination (assuming that isn’t the UAE).
More details can be found on this page of the Etihad website.
Air India slashes European destinations
Air India announced a significant downgrading of its European network this week, cutting its services to the continent by half.
Flights to Austria, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden are all being scrapped.
In a statement, Air India said: “In view of COVID19, Air India (AI) has decided to close down its stations in Vienna, Milan, Madrid, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. AI would immediately initiate action for closure in consultation with local lawyers and advise the timelines by which the stations will be closed.”
The national carrier is heavily in debt and is in the process of being sold by the Indian government.