Full-service carrier Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has crossed the final hurdle of official permissions and is now expected to start commercial operations next month. The airline, which had received the initial nod from the government in April, was on Monday issued an Air Operator Permit (AOP) by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
Delhi-headquartered Vistara, which will be the seventh passenger airline brand in the country, will shortly announce the start of sales and the date of first flight, the company said in a statement. The airline, which promises to redefine full-service air travel, had initially planned to start operations in September, but then faced delays on getting the AOP.
Prasad Menon, chairman, Vistara, said, “Receiving the AOP is a key milestone for Vistara. 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 realisation of this dream.”
Added Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, “I am delighted that we have successfully cleared the final requirement and secured the AOP. All our 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.”
Vistara, which already has two Airbus A320 aircraft parked at the Delhi airport and aims to have a total of five by March 2014, initially hopes to operate on the busiest sector in the country — Delhi-Mumbai. The airline has also stated intentions to start overseas flights, especially when the government changes current rules that restrict new airlines from flying on international routes.
The last airline to get an AOP was AirAsia (india) in June this year. Bangalore-based AirAsia has been focussing on connecting smaller cities, but aims to soon operate flights to Delhi and Mumbai.