Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines formed in September 2013, is looking to start flights from September 1, 2014, as per its application to the sector regulator for permission to operate, Reuters reported.

The carrier did not disclose the number of aircraft it will start with but said it is taking Airbus A320-200 and A320-200 neo aircraft on lease. It also said that it may add other bases in India in later years depending on the rate of fleet growth.

Initially, the JV will operate domestic flights, but it also looks to expand to international full-service flights.

As per current norms, Indian carriers cannot fly on international routes before they have completed five years of domestic operations.

However, the Indian aviation regulator is said to be moving to relax the norms which currently bar carriers with less than five years of operations and 20 aircraft to operate international flights.

Tata Sons, the holding arm of the diversified business conglomerate that invested an initial amount of $100 million in the JV, holds 51 per cent stake while Singapore Airlines holds remaining 49 per cent.

In a parallel development, Tata’s another airlines venture with Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia and another local business partner Arun Bhatia, has just received its flying permit and is aiming to start operations within two months.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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