Vistara gets flying permit, to announce schedule soon

Tata Sons holds 51% stake in $100 million company

Vistara gets flying permit, to announce schedule soon

Capping a wait of over a year and stiff opposition from existing players, the Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture ‘Vistara’ on Monday cleared the last hurdle to start commercial operations by receiving the Air Operator Permit (AOP) from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The take off is a “matter of a few days now”, an airline official said in a statement.

“Wistara is all set for the take off and will announce the start of sales and date of the first flight shortly,” states the company statement. The AOP is a significant milestone as it is the final step in a highly technical and complex compliance process, the New Delhi-headquartered airline said.

The airline will begin operations with its fleet of brand new Airbus A320-200. “Over the last few months the Vistara team has been focused on complying with regulatory requirements for all procedural checks and finally the proving flights to qualify for the AOP,” the airline said.

Prasad Menon, Chairman of Vistara, said that the receipt of AOP is a reflection of the dedication and determination of the team. “We are all looking forward to the first flight with excitement. We are aware of the expectations we have to live up to and look forward to shaping a success story in Indian Aviation with the realization of this dream,” he said.

A “delighted” Vistara CEO Phee Teik Yeoh said all their energies now are going to be concentrated towards fulfilling the Vistara brand promise. “Our focus on customer service excellence coupled with unique product offerings will ensure seamless travel experience to our customers,” he added.

Only nine days ago, the airline had cleared a crucial test flights before getting the AOP that allows it to start commercial operations anytime soon. Vistara was initially planning an October launch but it could not as regulatory approvals did not come by them.

Tata Sons is the majority stake holder in $100 million Vistara with 51 per cent shares while Singapore Airlines has 49 per cent. The airline has already taken delivery of two Airbus 320s on lease and had initially planned to have five aircraft in its fleet by March next year and plans to connect Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu and Patna in the first year of its operations.

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 in April.

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