Tata, Singapore Airlines venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9

Tata SIA Airlines Ltd (TSAL), a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, is all set to launch its full-service from January 9, 2015 with initial flights from Delhi to Mumbai and Ahmedabad, it said in a statement.

Headquartered in Delhi, Vistara opened bookings on December 18 late night. The carrier will operate 148-seater Airbus A320-200 with 16 seats in business class, 36 in premium economy and 96 in economy. 

"I am very excited as this day is the culmination of many months of hard work. The activation of distribution channels is our first interface with our customer and with this, we embark on a journey to fulfil our brand promise of seamless travel experience,” Phee Teik Yeoh, chief executive officer, Vistara, said.

“I would like to especially thank our partners for helping us put our best foot forward and most importantly the members of Vistara team for their diligence and resolve all this while,” Yeoh added.

Vistara is also the first full service carrier in India to introduce the ‘Premium Economy’ class. Once it debuts on January 9, it will become the third full service carrier after national carrier Air India and Jet Airways.

The company has tied up with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro and Amadeus, which are its technology partners and will be responsible for its customer support system and IT services.

While Wipro will handle all customer enquiries on reservation, ticketing and Club Vistara FFP, TCS will be engaged in its IT initiatives ranging from application service transformation to consulting and business-impacting technology initiatives.

On the other side, Amadeus Altéa Suite will take care of Vistara’s travel reservations, ticketing, inventory management, airport departure control systems, as well as revenue accounting and revenue management.

The carrier received air operator permit from sector regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation on December 15.

The brand Vistara, which was unveiled in August, is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘vistaar’, which means ‘limitless expanse’, and draws inspiration from the brand’s domain—the ‘limitless’ sky. Its logo is derived from a ‘yantra’, a perfect mathematical form that reflects the unbounded universe.

Tata Sons joined hands with Singapore Airlines on September 19, 2013, to launch a full-service airline in India with an initial investment of $100 million. Presently, SIA holds 49 per cent stake in the JV, while the rest is being held by Tata Sons, in line with FDI norms which limits foreign investment in domestic aviation sector to 49 per cent.

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, though there are moves to strike off this rule.

This is Tata Sons’ second domestic aviation joint venture. It also has a minority stake in a venture with Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia and another local business partner Arun Bhatia. AirAsia has started operations recently.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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