Meet Vistara, SIA’s new Indian carrier

Vistara will take delivery of Airbus A320 next month

TATA-SIA Airlines Limited (TSAL), a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has announced the brand name for its new full-service airline, expected to start flying from October.

The name, Vistara, is derived from the Sanskrit word vistaar, meaning limitless expanse. It will begin operations in October subject to approvals from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Headquartered in New Delhi, Vistara will take delivery of its first plane, an Airbus A320-200 in September and plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including A320neos, by the end of the fifth year of operations. Tata Sons holds a 51% stake in TSAL.

The airline’s network in India has not been announced, but Phee Teik Yeoh, chief executive of the joint venture, said: “We will operate in cities where there is a clear demand for a full-service carrier, be it metro or non-metro cities.”

Asked whether it was the right time to launch operations in India considering how many domestic airlines were making losses, Yeoh said he remained positive. The new government is investor-friendly and has announced measures for the sector, like opening new airports in the country, he said.

“India is expected to become the third-largest aviation market in the world by 2020, which clearly means there is a potential that needs to be tapped,” added Mukund Rajan, member of the Group Executive Council at Tata Sons and director of the joint venture.

TTG Asia