The Tata-SIA joint venture has decided to start the airline with a fleet of 20 aircraft and will soon apply to the civil aviation ministry for permissions to import the jets.
“We will apply for permissions to import 20 aircraft as soon as we get our No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the government. All these aircraft will be Airbus A320 and will be imported on lease,” said an executive with the airline.
The number of aircraft sought to be imported is an indication that the airline would launch international operations as early as possible. The current rules do not allow domestic airlines with less than five years in operations and with a fleet of less than 20 aircraft to start international operations. The civil aviation ministry has mooted a proposal to abolish this rule, but that has been held in abeyance due to the elections.
Tata-SIA had last week got a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the civil aviation ministry to start a full-service airline. The airline company will now have to apply to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for a flying licence.
The airline is likely to apply for air operator’s permit the moment they receive their NOC letter from the ministry, which may take a week or two.
Tata-SIA is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.
The company official said that the operational functions will be managed by the SIA representative, while the rest will be managed by the Tata representatives in the company.
“While Tata representatives will look after the legal, finance and human resources departments, SIA will monitor the operations and commercial departments.” The airline has made Delhi its operational hub because of the huge capacity constraints present at the Mumbai airport.