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Vistara to allow passengers to upgrade their seats through a bidding system

The new scheme is a way "to offset revenue losses experienced in 2020" and "leverage the higher capacity in superior cabins", Vistara said in a statement.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: August 25, 2020 3:55:34 pm
Vistara is the first Indian airline to offer in-flight wifi services.(Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Vistara said on Tuesday that it had collaborated with a Canada-based firm to launch a new scheme that allows passengers to put in bids to upgrade their seats to superior classes in flights.

The new scheme is a way “to offset revenue losses experienced in 2020” and “leverage the higher capacity in superior cabins”, the airline said in a statement.

Once a passenger has purchased an economy or a premium economy class ticket, all he or she has to do is make an offer for a seat in the higher cabin class seven days prior to the flight’s departure, Vistara told its passengers through an email on Monday.

“If your offer is accepted, you will be informed before your departure,” it stated.

“With support from Plusgrade, more passengers will have access to the personal space, comfort, privacy and high-end service that come with a Premium experience,” Vistara chief commercial officer Vinod Kannan said.

Plusgrade provides fresh revenue generating solutions to the global travel industry.

Vistara has 43 aircraft in its fleet. Majority of them are in a three class configuration — economy, premium economy and business.

The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures, such as pay cuts, leave without pay and firings of employees in order to conserve cash.

India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around just 50-60 per cent since then.

Currently, the airlines are allowed to operate only a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

While scheduled international flights continue to remain suspended in India, special international flights under Vande Bharat mission or air bubble arrangements with other countries are allowed to operate.

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