Vistara misses October take-off deadline

Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture yet to get operating permit

Vistara misses October take-off deadline

Vistara, the Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture, will miss its October deadline to hit the skies, as it is yet to get the mandatory Air Operators Permit (AOP).

This is due to “some new developments” cropping up with respect to guidelines of regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). 

The airline, in which the Tatas have 51 per cent stake in the $100-million joint venture, had announced in August that it expected to launch its service in October but it is “taking a little longer time” than anticipated as it appears to have hit the DGCA wall. 

Vistara CEO Phee Teik Yeoh said the airline is making “rapid progress towards operational readiness” with the acquisition of two new A-320 aircraft. 

“As a team we are quite focused and concentrating all our energies towards operational readiness,” he told Deccan Herald. 

Asked about AOP clearance, the Vistara CEO said, “there is an approval process that every new airline needs to go through and we are also following the same process. It is however taking a little longer time than we anticipated. There have been some new developments with respect to DGCA guidelines and we are working to swiftly comply with the same.” 

However, he did not elaborate on the interactions with DGCA on the AOP. In August, he had said that Vistara was in the “last lap” of the process of securing the AOP. 

On Vistara’s plans for the first year, he said the airline would be focusing on growing operations in metros and non-metros where there is a demand for full service airline.

He also said they have not been allotted slots in Delhi airport as it is done upon the receipt of the AOP.  Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines announced the joint venture in September last year and got the NOC from Civil Aviation Ministry in April. It announced the brand name in August after applying for AOP.

 Existing airlines had opposed the clearances for Vistara citing that the relaxation in Foreign Direct Investment in aviation was not for new ventures. They had also approached Delhi High Court against the government nod. 

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