TATA-SIA Airlines Limited (TSAL), the joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, yesterday announced the brand name of its full-service airline, which is expected to commence flying from October.
Vistara, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vistaar’ meaning limitless expanse. It will begin operations in October subject to approvals from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Vistara will take delivery of its first plane, an Airbus A320-200 in September and plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including A320neos by the end of the fifth year of operations.
While the airline’s route network in India is unannounced, TSAL’s CEO, Phee Teik Yeoh, said: “We will operate in cities where there is a clear demand for a full-service carrier be it metro or non-metro cities.”
Queried whether it is the right time to commence operations in India considering the majority of domestic airlines are making losses, Yeoh said TSAL remains positive as the new Indian government is investor-friendly and has announced measures for the sector, like opening new airports in the country (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 29, 2014).
Mukund Rajan, member of the Group Executive Council at Tata Sons and director at TSAL, added: “The time is rights for us to commence operations as Indian travellers are looking for fresh options. India is expected to become the third-largest aviation market in the world by 2020, which clearly means there is a potential that needs to be tapped.”
Tata Sons had partnered Singapore Airlines in September 2013 for the joint venture, holding 51 per cent stake in TSAL (TTG Asia e-Daily, September 20, 2013).