As United Airlines plans expansion India, it will add full-service Vistara as a codeshare partner later this year.
United Airlines plans to resume its Newark – Delhi service this autumn and commence new San Francisco – Delhi service in December. As it seeks to offers it passengers more reliable onward connections and feed its longhaul flights, it has announced a new partnership with Vistara, an airline founded in 2013 and co-owned by Singapore Airlines and Tata.
The new partnership will go beyond codesharing to include:
- 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
- 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
Here’s Vistara’s route map:
It is no coincidence that Vistara is seeking to ramp up operations and its partnerships in light of the recent demise of Jet Airways. It is also hardly a coincidence that this agreement comes as United prepares to challenge Air India directly on another route (SFO-DEL). Although both are Star Alliance members, the relationship between the two has not strengthened since Air India joined Star Alliance.
Indian Airlines see codesharing as essential to fostering long-term growth. Other recent codeshare agreements include Emirates and SpiceJet as well IndiGo and Turkish Airlines. Vistara’s new partnership with United is good news for travelers in both India and North America.