BENGALURU: After missing many deadlines, the newest addition to the Indian skies, Air Vistara took off on its maiden flight from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport to Mumbai on Friday. This also marks Tatas re-entry into aviation space.
The joint venture airline between salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Sons and Singapore International Airlines, Vistara’s first flight was flagged off by Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
Vistara also enters the Indian skies at a time when civil aviation rules are undergoing a major overhaul, which include a rethink on archaic rules like the 5 years stay, 20 aircraft rule for international flying.
Most airlines in India, with the exception of low cost carrier IndiGo, has reported losses. The volatile industry has already seen the shutdown of liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines and near shutdown of Kalanithi Maran-promoted SpiceJet.
Prasad Menon, Chairman, Vistara, Mukund Rajan, Mak Swee Wah, Members of the Board of Directors, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO Vistara and many other senior officials were part of the event. The new airline took on board children from the Salaam Baalak Trust aged between 7-12 years on the Airbus A320-200.
“It has been a long-cherished dream for the Tata group to establish a world-class full service airline in India, in partnership with Singapore Airlines, and today that dream has come to life. I would like to dedicate this day to Mr JRD Tata, the man who started it all, and established India’s first international airline. His futuristic vision continues to inspire us and we salute his spirit and dream,” Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons said.
Air Vistara is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata and SIA with an initial investment of $100 million.