Flight connectivity between India and Sri Lanka has been further boosted, with Vistara resuming service between Mumbai and Colombo. Vistara also launched flights to Dammam from Mumbai on March 1st, significantly increasing its international services from the city.

Mumbai-Colombo service is back

On March 1st, Vistara started flying between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) and Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka (CMB). The thrice-weekly service will operate on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Flight UK 131 from Mumbai has a scheduled departure of 09:25 and an arrival of 12:00. The return flight (UK 132) leaves after a halt of one hour at 13:00 and arrives at 15:25.

Vistara’s services to Sri Lanka have been interrupted a few times in the last few years due to COVID and then again after a nationwide curfew was imposed in Sri Lanka last year. The airline briefly resumed service between Delhi and Colombo in November 2021 but does not operate this route currently.

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Air connectivity between Sri Lanka and India has improved a lot recently. While SriLankan Airlines flies to nine Indian cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Madurai, and Tiruchirappalli), other airlines have also begun services.

Alliance Air resumed service between Chennai and Jaffna in December last year, while Sri Lanka’s only private carrier FitsAir also started flying between Chennai and Colombo last month.

Mumbai-Dammam service starts, too

Along with Colombo, Vistara launched another international flight out of Mumbai on March 1st. The airline inaugurated its daily non-stop service between Mumbai and Dammam, Vistara’s second destination in Saudi Arabia, complementing its 7x weekly connectivity between Mumbai and Jeddah. Vistara’s Chief Executive Officer Vinod Kannan commented,


“We are delighted to commence operations to Dammam, a major administrative hub in Saudi Arabia and home to a large Indian diaspora. The addition of Dammam to our growing international network is in line with our goal to further strengthen our presence in the Middle East. Dammam will be the fifth Vistara destination in the region – after Dubai, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.”

The airline also recently confirmed the first route for its Airbus A321LR – Mumbai to Mauritius, with five weekly flights starting from March 26th.

Brand to cease after merger

In eight years of service, Vistara has created a strong brand in India’s domestic market. While it has had a few misses over the years, its product has mostly received good reviews from customers. However, the Vistara brand will be dropped after the airline is merged with Air India early next year.

Air India’s CEO Campbell Wilson has clarified that the airline will continue to be known as Air India following its merger with Vistara. The reason for this is Air India’s longer presence in the international market and better brand recognition globally.

Campbell did say that the merged entity would still like to retain and celebrate some of the Vistara heritage in that new manifestation. How exactly that translates following the merger remains to be seen.

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