Tatas' Vistara starts flying; says will 'do it right'

Tatas' Vistara starts flying; says will 'do it right'
Marking Tatas' re-entry into the Indian aviation space after over six decades, new airline Vistara today flew its first flight, and said its aim will be to "do it right" without making a big splash.

Entering at a turbulent time facing the sector, the airline said it would not be "lavish or over-the-top" in the name of being a full service carrier.

Tatas hold a majority 51 per cent stake in Vistara -- a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, which holds the remaining 49 per cent. The first Vistara flight flew from Delhi to Mumbai today -- over six decades after Tata Airlines was rechristened as Air India, and eventually nationalised in 1950s.

The inaugural flight was received by Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry at Mumbai international airport, while his predecessor and now Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata gave his best wishes before its take-off from Delhi, saying that a dream has come true for the group.

The flight took off from Delhi international airport at 1251 hours, while it landed in Mumbai at 1446 hours.

"We must do it right, instead of making a big splash and getting into disappointment (later)," Vistara Chairman Prasad Menon told reporters.

"Being full service doesn't mean you're lavish or you're over the top. It means serving different customers' needs differently," he added.

Tata group also holds 30 per cent stake in the domestic arm of the Malaysian budget airline AirAsia India, but it is not a part of day-to-day operations in that venture.

Overall, Vistara will be the third full-service carrier in the country, after state-run Air India and private carrier Jet Airways.

Ratan Tata said it has been a long-cherished dream for the Tata group to establish a world-class full service airline in India and he would dedicate this day to late JRD Tata, the former chairman of the group and India's first licensed pilot.
"Today, that dream has come to life," he added.

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