Wednesday, January 23News That Matters

Vistara wants to fly overseas by May next year :

Vistara Airlines has approached the Aviation Ministry to start international operations from May next year, reports the Economic Times.

Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, where Tata owns 51 percent and Singapore Airlines has a 49 percent stake. They expect to meet the 20-plane eligibility norm by next year.

“As part of the preparation, we have also advanced our aircraft deliveries and expect to receive our 20th aircraft by March 2018. In addition to our initial order, we are leasing two Airbus A320neos, which will arrive by June 2018,” the airline told ET.

Sources told the newspaper that the airline is waiting to get a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the ministry and a final approval from Directorate General of Civil Aviation to fly overseas.

Currently, Air India, Jet AirwaysIndiGo and SpiceJet are the only Indian airlines that fly internationally.

The airline’s proposal said that it aims to connect India to 50 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. They will fly their own aircraft and codeshare partners over a period of three years.

Sources told ET, “The launch of international operations will be through Airbus 320 aircraft and the airline, in the first year, will connect destinations within four hours of flying distance from India.”

For airlines to fly overseas, the eligibility norm states that the airline is supposed to have a fleet of 20 planes. The amendment was made in June last year.

Earlier, the rule said that the airlines are supposed to have been in domestic operations for five years and also have a fleet of 20 planes.

AirAsia India and Vistara had lobbied against the earlier requirement.

If Vistara receives the nod, it will be the first to benefit from the new rule.


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