Vistara pays a tribute to JRD Tata with a special flight.
It was a historic moment when Vistara, a Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines joint venture, unveiled its 22nd aircraft (an Airbus A320neo with retro-livery) earlier this week. With this new addition, the full-service carrier is paying a tribute to the father of Indian aviation, JRD Tata, as well as celebrating Tata group’s 150th anniversary. JRD Tata, India’s first commercial pilot, started the country’s first airline carrier Tata Air Lines in 1932, which later went on to become the national carrier Air India in 1946. The new Vistara aircraft bears the registration ‘VT-ATV’ originally used by a Tata Air Lines aircraft.
“JRD Tata’s perfectionist approach ensured the finest flying experience for customers and made Tata Air Lines India’s pride decades ago. We are proud to carry forward the baton of his legacy and vision in building a world-class, trendsetting airline that India can be proud of,” said Leslie Thng, Vistara’s CEO while announcing the launch of the retrojet. The retro look was achieved using a shimmery silver-gold mica paint, giving the aircraft a sepia shade. Vistara, which began operations in January 2015, is looking at flying this special aircraft to all its 22 destinations this year.
Flyers on the aircraft’s maiden flight (from Delhi to Mumbai), in fact, also got to taste some of JRD Tata’s favourite dishes: cheddar cheese and onion omelette, traditional Goan prawn curry, crème caramel, etc. The chef onboard, a first-of-its-kind initiative in domestic skies introduced by Vistara in May, interacted with customers, taking feedback. “We strive to incorporate suggestions, be it less spicy food in the menu or using recyclable cutlery,” said chef Rajeev Bansal.
Vistara, which will fly the aircraft on seven special company occasions throughout the year, will soon announce its international operations (reportedly Phuket and Colombo to start with).