Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to start from September 19. The tournament will continue till November. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IPL 2020 will not be played in India. The tournament has been shifted to UAE. The teams have already started their preparations. Some franchises are conducting training camps before setting their feet on the Gulf country. Some have already landed in UAE.
It has been learned that all the teams will travel to UAE in Vistara airlines. This is a joint venture airline company of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines. They have already flown Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, and Kings XI Punjab.
“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 company said as published in Moneycontrol. According to industry sources, companies like SpiceJet and IndiGo were also trying to secure the deal. But Vistara had the last laugh. “They chose Vistara because the BCCI mandated business class for certain players and coaches,” said a senior executive from the airline industry.
IPL 2020 will see eight teams compete with each other. The 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 whether Vistara will also fly the teams back home after the tournament is completed. “The return flight will depend on each team, and how far they can progress in the tournament. Talks are still on,” said an industry executive.
Airline industries are badly suffering due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions across the globe. In this situation, this deal will surely boost Vistara. IPL 2020 was originally scheduled to start on March 29. But it had to be postponed for an indefinite period as COVID-19 started wreaking havoc all over the world. India is still suffering from COVID-19. SO, the BCCI had to shift the tournament out of the country.