Vistara silently cancels Chennai-Kolkata flights

Vistara has silently cancelled its twice daily Chennai-Kolkata flight, without any formal announcement, either to passengers or in media.

The reason is not known, but most likely this decision was taken to free up aircrafts to be deployed at Mumbai. After Jet Airways collapse Vistara along with other airlines got Jet Airways slots in Mumbai and to make full use of these slots they needed aircrafts. Since flights from Mumbai are more profitable, I think Vistara decided to cancel some of the flights which were less profitable- I guess Chennai-Kolkata is one of them.

Vistara's recently added additional flights from Mumbai. Mumbai Chennai was not a consideration.
However, recently Vistara is said to be taking possession of about 4 B737s of Jet Airways and once they are inducted, Vistara is likely to operate one daily flight to Chennai along with few other cities like Varanasi.

Why no formal announcements when airlines withdraw a route
No one wants bad publicity. If a route is cancelled, usually only affected passengers are informed few days prior to their flight- so that refund can be delayed as much as possible and with little time and alternate options left, passengers can be forced to accept whatever alternate airline throws at them. So as a passenger we need to be alert to regularly check if all our future flights are as per plan. In this particular case I believe Vistara wants to resume Chennai-Kolkata service once they have maxed out their Mumbai slots and have a spare aircraft. So airline doesn't want to scare passengers with route closure news.

Vistara had also stopped Chennai-Kochi flight last year. In essence the step motherly treatment towards Chennai continues. But then, aviation is a brutal business. Airlines need to put their assets where they can make maximum money. There's no room for sentiments and emotional thoughts. Optimization is the key- some how Chennai airport/passengers aren't able to command much attention.

What to do if you had a flight on the cancelled Kolkata- Chennai or Chennai-Kolkata route?
Don't wait till official communication from Vistara, which may come only last minute.
Call the call centre, you have following options
Option 1: Ask to be re-routed- via Delhi or Port Blair or Mumbai- this could now cost you one full day instead of original 2-3 hours. Do this if you're flying in June. If you wait till last minute there's a risk that alternate flights may get full and your options will be limited.
Option 2: Take full refund- if you'd booked cheap ticket before Jet airways collapse, this can cost you dearly as prices have shot up on all other airlines. Unless you're not keen to execute the trip, you're probably better off with option 1. If you have seen a cheaper/similarly priced alternate flight or if your trip is sponsored by your company and you don't care about ticket price, this could be good option for you.
Option 3: Wait and Hope- if your travel is few months away- say August or September, it might be worth waiting for a month- May be Vistara will reintroduce MAA-CCU if they get more aircrafts.

One small respite is Air Asia announcing Chennai-Kolkata route.

Read: Vistara Premium Economy Experience  

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