United Airlines & Vistara Partnership

United Airlines and Vistara yesterday announced that they had signed an agreement that will take effect in the fall of 2019.

VISTARA

United Airlines and Vistara will codeshare flights and frequent flier members can earn and redeem on both airlines.

Here’s the announcement from United:

CHICAGO, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — United Airlines today announced it has entered into a new alliance agreement with New Delhi-based airline, Vistara. The agreement, effective in Fall 2019, further expands United’s global route network to more than 20 destinations throughout India. United currently operates more nonstop service to India than any other U.S. carrier.

“United Airlines has served India from our New York/Newark hub for more than 14 years and in December of this year will begin operating new nonstop service between San Francisco and New Delhi,” said John Gebo, United’s senior vice president of Alliances. “We are pleased to enter into this new alliance agreement with Vistara to offer our customers traveling between the United States and India seamless access to more destinations throughout India.”

United has served India since 2005, offering customers year-round daily nonstop flights between New York/Newark and Mumbai and New Delhi. Beginning Dec. 5, 2019, United’s seasonal service between San Francisco and New Delhi will enable business and leisure travelers nonstop access from the U.S. West Coast. The new flight will connect customers from more than 80 U.S. cities to India with just one stop in San Francisco.

“We’re very happy to take our partnership with United Airlines to the next level with this codeshare agreement. It helps us offer an extended global network to our customers and gives us the chance of welcoming travelers from across the world to experience Vistara’s award-winning hospitality and service in India. With United Airlines, we share the passion for staying ahead of the curve to delight customers, and we’re confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the shared benefits of this collaboration,” said Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara.

In addition to convenient, one-stop connections to more than 20 destinations from Mumbai and New Delhi, the new United/Vistara alliance agreement enables United customers traveling from the United States with a seamless travel experience including:

Connecting flight opportunities from Mumbai and New Delhi further enhances United’s network offering from its U.S. hubs in New York/Newark and San Francisco.

Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits – United MileagePlus members earn and redeem frequent flyer miles on all Vistara routes and Vistara’s Club Vistara members earn and redeem frequent flyer miles on all Vistara and United routes.

  • United will place its UA* marketing code on more than 20 flights operated by Vistara (subject to government approval).
  • Coordinated United and Vistara customer service.
  • Single ticket booking and checked baggage to the customer’s final destination.

Conclusion

Vistara was founded by Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons, an indian industrial conglomerate, and started operations in 2015.

It is surprising that United decided to team up with a rival of fellow Star Alliance airline Air India. I guess that United was unable to get a good enough deal with the flag carrier that is going through financial hardship.

It is always good to have more opportunities to earn and redeem. This certainly helps United frequent fliers on their trips within India. Vistara is likely to expand flying outside of India now that JetAirways has collapsed.

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