Vistara to launch Delhi to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai flights in October

Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture Vistara, which is awaiting flying permit from the aviation regulator DGCA, is getting set to launch operations with initial flights to Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru from Delhi sometime next month.

The first Airbus 320 aircraft is expected to arrive within the next 10 days, after which Vistara must do 'proving flights' so that aviation regulator DGCA grants it a flying permit.

Vistara recently appointed a senior pilot from IndiGo to head its safety team. Besides, the carrier has picked up JetLite quality manager Deepak Joshi to be a part of its safety wing, according to sources.

The airline has already appointed C S Varadarajan as chief human resources officer and Phee Teik Yeoh as CEO. Other officials appointed include Giamming Toh as chief commercial officer and Niyant Maru as chief financial officer.

Captain Roshan Joshi from SIA will head Vistara's flight operations.

Vistara, a full service airline which will offer hot meals and personalised service to passengers, is expected to start services in October and bookings will start in the first week of next month.

Bookings can be made by the first week of October for the first flight through select travel agents and through the Vistara web site. The airline will publish a full flight schedule in the next few days.

The airline is expected to offer economy, premium economy and business class seating configurations across its aircraft, and may opt to hardsell the concept of luxurious domestic travel to corporate bigwigs rather than go for discounted flights.

However, Vistara has started cost control measures even before beginning operations and is still operating from a make-shift office at the Taj Vivanta in Gurgaon.

According to Vistara sources, the airline is not offering very high salaries when hiring cabin crew, pilots and others. Instead, it plans to offer better and "more humane" working conditions for its staff. The Vistara team now stands at 80 employees.

The airline, which is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, will mark the return of the Tatas to aviation.