Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l) plans to deploy 50% of its capacity on international routes within the next five years and intends to launch long-haul services from India to Europe, the United States, and Australia, CEO Leslie Thng told the Indian media.

Speaking during the launch of the carrier's first international service from Delhi Int'l to Singapore Changi and quoted by The Economic Times, Thng said that Vistara wanted to start flights to Europe "as soon as possible". Services to the US and Australia are planned in the second phase of international growth.

The Indian carrier already launched services from Mumbai Int'l to Singapore. Combined, the two routes amount to just 2.5% of Vistara's total seat capacity, the ch-aviation capacities module shows.

By the end of August, Vistara will also have launched routes from Mumbai to Dubai Int'l and from Delhi to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. It eyes Kathmandu and Colombo Int'l as the next short-haul international destinations.

Thng underlined that a codeshare partnership with 49% owner Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) and its subsidiary SilkAir will play a big role in Vistara's international expansion. Currently, the partnership also covers Vistara-operated domestic routes in India.

Vistara became eligible for international route rights after having increased its fleet beyond 20 aircraft. It currently operates thirteen A320-200s and ten A320-200neo as a part of its original strategy. Opportunistically, the carrier also added six ex-Jet Airways B737-800s. Vistara also scooped international traffic rights vacated by Jet Airways, allowing it to launch the routes to Singapore.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the carrier has an additional thirteen A320neo on order from Airbus, as well as six B787-9s on order from Boeing.

Currently, the only Indian airline operating widebody aircraft and long-haul routes is the flag carrier Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l). LCC IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) operates medium-haul services from Delhi to Istanbul New using A321-200neo aircraft.