Vistara adds Mumbai to Colombo flights; total capacity up 78% in W19

Vistara Mumbai to Colombo

Dignitaries celebrate the launch of Vistara services to Colombo from Mumbai. Vistara – a TATA/Singapore Airlines joint venture – effectively replaces the premium capacity gap left by Jet Airways on the route. It will be intriguing to see how it performs in creating a new segment, as it provides the only three class/premium economy offering on the market pair.

Vistara on 25 November commenced six times weekly operations between Mumbai and Colombo. The 1,526-kilometre route is the carrier’s first to Sri Lanka, and comes as the airline is set to launch long haul 787-9 services in March next year. The carrier has benefited from the collapse of fellow Mumbai operator Jet Airways back in April 2019, increasing capacity by 78% network-wide in W19 vs W18. Below is a summary of competition on the Mumbai – Colombo route:

Airline Weekly frequencies Type Config
SriLankan Airlines 14 A320 12J/138Y
Vistara 6 A320/A20N 8J/24W/132Y
Air India 3 A321

12J/170Y

Source: Airline sites, OAG Schedules Analyser, SeatGuru

The India – Sri Lankan market has seen a significant turnover of airlines in the past decade, with just one carrier (SriLankan) out of the seven serving the market in 2009 still serving it in W19. Jet Airways has been the most recent operator to collapse or exit, alongside other high-profile operators including Sri Lankan leisure carrier Mihin Lanka (ceased operations 2016), and renowned Vijay Mallya-owned carrier Kingfisher Airlines (ceased 2012).

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser

As such, we have also seen significant consolidation as the market has matured, with the named weaker players exiting, and overall numbers reducing from a peak of eight in 2010 to a more traditional oligopoly of five airlines in W19: SriLankan, Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara. After growing since 2014, total capacity is down 10.3% in 2019, which can be explained by the fall of Jet Airways and capacity cuts from IndiGo (-1.3%) and SriLankan (-11.2%).

Although total capacity is likely to stabilise, it will be fascinating to see which carriers become the dominant players in the coming years, and if further consolidation is likely.


New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.

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