Tata-SIA joint venture airline named `Vistara'

Tata SIA Airline Ltd, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, on Monday said the new full service carrier to be launched by the joint venture will be called Vistara. Services are expected to start in October.

Singapore AirlinesThe airline will be based in Delhi, and commencement of operations is subject to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) approval, which is examining the airline's application for an air operator's permit.

Vistara will take delivery of its first place, an Airbus A320-200, in September and plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft in the first five years of operations, including A320neos.

The plans may change once the government abolishes the five-year 20 aircraft minimum flying eligibility norm for international flying.

Prasad Menon, chairman of Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, said, "We expect this partnership to boost India's image as a tourist destination as well as investment destination."

"We are excited about the growth potential of the Indian market as well as future expansion," added Mukund Rajan, director, Tata SIA Airlines Ltd.

Recently it was reported that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the upcoming Tata-SIA JV carrier to ensure that its operational staff is present at all regulatory all regulatory meetings to avoid delay in launching operation.

DGCA took the unusual step of asking the JV partners to step on the gas fearing that any delay in clearing an airline as prestigious as Tata-SIA may be criticized. "You are advised to make available key post holders in India for interaction during the ongoing documents evaluation phase in order to complete the same. Non availability of key post holders may delay the certification process," the DGCA letter to Singapore Airlines's chief Phee Teik Yeoh said.