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IPL 2020: Vistara to fly all teams to UAE

Three of the teams have already reached the Emirates ahead of the tournament

August 21, 2020 / 06:23 PM IST

Vistara is chartering all the teams flying to the UAE to take part in the Indian Premier League.

The airline, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has already flown Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.

The cricket tournament, which was moved from India owing to the COVID-19 disruption, is slated to begin from September 19.

"Vistara is doing one-way charter for all the teams. They are either flying to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, according to their schedule," a representative of the airline told Moneycontrol.

Sources in the industry said that SpiceJet and IndiGo were also vying for the deal. "They chose Vistara because the BCCI mandated business class for certain players and coaches," a senior executive from the industry said.

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The league will have eight teams, and will last till November 8. Other teams are:  Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capital, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The teams will be taking off from Delhi or Mumbai airports. It is not yet confirmed if Vistara will also fly the teams back home, once the tournament is over. "The return flight will depend on each team, and how far they are able to progress in the tournament. Talks are still on," said an industry executive.

The League, which was postponed because of the virus outbreak and the ensuring lockdown, has been constantly making headlines. Recently, it got a new title sponsor in the form of Dream11, which replaced Chinese handset maker Vivo.

For Vistara, the contract to charter IPL teams will a good push as all airlines are vying for any opportunity to improve cash flows. Though domestic flights resumed on May 25, and later the government allowed private airlines to operate repatriation flights, traffic demand has been subdued.

Vistara's market share in the domestic market fell to 5.8 percent in the June quarter, from 6.4 percent in March. The airline recently announced it will operate special, non-stop flights between Delhi and London Heathrow airport from August 28 to September 30, this year marking its foray in long-haul international operations.

 
Prince Mathews Thomas heads the corporate bureau of Moneycontrol. He has been covering the business world for 16 years, having worked in The Hindu Business Line, Forbes India, Dow Jones Newswires, The Economic Times, Business Standard and The Week. A Chevening scholar, Prince has also authored The Consolidators, a book on second generation entrepreneurs.
first published: Aug 21, 2020 10:54 am

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