Tata-SIA joint venture airline Vistara has joined the 280-members global airlines’ body IATA ahead of its plans to launch international operations by the second half of this year. Till now, only two Indian carriers – Air India and Jet Airways – were part of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which has 280 airlines as its members, representing as much as 83 per cent of the total air traffic across 120 countries. The membership will enable Vistara to collaborate with other international member airlines for codeshare and interline agreements, and provide a seamless travel through an extended global network to the passengers to and from India, the airline said in a release. “We’re extremely proud to join the international community of IATA members. This membership couldn’t have come at a better time as we gear up to launch our international operations soon,” Vistara chief executive officer Leslie Thng said in a release. The Delhi-headquartered full service carrier had earlier in September last year completed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), a pre-requisite for an IATA membership. “We welcome Vistara as IATA”s newest member airline. India is a key aviation market ” it is expected to become the third largest aviation market by 2024. We look forward to working with Vistara in shaping IATA’s priorities for India and the global aviation industry,” IATA regional vice president for Asia Pacific Conrad Clifford said. Vistara currently operates over 730 flights a week to 22 destinations with a fleet of 20 Airbus A320 aircraft.