Vistara born to Tata Sons, Singapore Airlines JV
Aug 11 2014 , New Delhi
"We are in the last lap of the process of securing the air operator permit. There are a series of approvals which we have to get to the satisfaction of DGCA," said Phee Teik Yeoh, the CEO of the start-up full-service airline Vistara.
In reply to questions, he said, "We expect to get the first aircraft some time in September and by this calendar year, we would have five aircraft in our fleet".
The Delhi-based airline has already decided to lease 20 Airbus A-320s, including seven A-320 Neos which have the latest technology on board. The airline plans to have a 20-aircraft fleet in five years.
Yeoh was speaking at an event to launch the new brand name, the logo and livery of the airline, along with Tata-SIA Airlines chairman Prasad Menon and board directors Mukund Rajan and Swee Wah Mak.
Asked about the route network, the CEO said, "We are close to finalising our route network. It will cover cities having a clear demand for full-service airline," but declined to share details.
Earlier, sources had said the plan was to begin services in five cities and go up to 11 within a year of launch with 87 flights a week. These would link Delhi with Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Srinagar and Patna.
Yeoh also parried several questions on the pricing strategy of the new carrier, saying the thrust now was to get the new airline “quickly off the ground”.
He said: “Full-service is not just serving food in-flight, but there will be a clear strategy based on customer experience and expectations.”
The firm is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and SIA, with Singapore Airlines planning to invest $49 million and the Tatas providing the rest of the total $100 million investment.
Menon exuded confidence that Tata-SIA would become “a significant player” in the Indian aviation market. I can confidently say that Tata and SIA will make Vistara a natural choice for passengers”.