Vistara, the Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture, has filed for permissions with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to fly to that country starting September this year. International flights are governed by Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and India and the United States have an open skies agreement, which means there are no restrictions either on capacity or number of flights between any two points between the two countries. As long as the airlines are designated carriers and cleared by both regulators, the airlines are free to fly subject to slots.
Vistara would join a long list of carriers that have in recent years grown by routes served between the two countries. While currently airlines are barred from carrying traffic via hubs, this is not a permanent arrangement. Yet, the pandemic could see people opt for non-stops over a transfer at hubs to ensure that one does not come in contact with more people while connecting flights.
However, the long haul is not a year-round profitable segment and in current times, much would depend on how the pandemic and vaccination spans out in India.
One of the many steps