Prasad Menon (fourth from right), Chairman TSAL, Mukund Rajan (fifth from right), member Group Executive Council Director TSAL, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO TSAL and Swee Wah Mak(third from left) 
Director and VP, Commercial SIA along with the air hostesses at the launch of Tata-SIA logo for their newly Christened Airline in New Delhi
Prasad Menon (fourth from right), Chairman TSAL, Mukund Rajan (fifth from right), member Group Executive Council Director TSAL, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO TSAL and Swee Wah Mak(third from left) Director and VP, Commercial SIA along with the air hostesses at the launch of Tata-SIA logo for their newly Christened Airline in New Delhi

New Delhi : Tata and Singapore Airlines launched full service Airline, Vistara, which is set to commence operations by October, with itsfirst aircraft coming in by September, reports PTI.

“We are in the last lap of the process of securing the Air Operator Permit (AOP of flying licence). There are a series of approvals which we have to get to the satisfaction of DGCA,” said Phee Teik Yeoh, the CEO of the start-up full-service airline ‘Vistara’.

To questions, he said that “we expect to get the first aircraft some time in September and by this calendar year, we would have five aircraft in our fleet”.

The Delhi-based airline has already decided to lease 20 Airbus A-320s, including seven A-320 Neo series planes which have the latest technology on board.

The airline plans to have a 20-aircraft fleet in five years. Yeoh was speaking at a ceremony to launch the new brand name, the logo and livery of the airline, along with Tata-SIA Airlines Chairman Prasad Menon and Board Directors Mukund Rajan and Swee Wah Mak.

Asked about the route network, the CEO said “we are close to finalising our route network. It will cover cities having a clear demand for full-service airline”, but declined to share details.

Earlier, sources had said the plan was to begin services in five cities and go up to 11 within a year of launch with 87 weekly flights.

These would link Delhi with Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Srinagar, Patna and Chandigarh. Yeoh also parried several questions on the pricing strategy of the new carrier, saying the thrust now was to get the new airline “quickly off the ground”.

The company is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and SIA, with Singapore Airlines planning to invest $49 million and the Tatas providing the rest of the total $100 million investment.

Asked about the firm’s views on the rule which allows only those Indian carriers to fly abroad which have operated in domestic sector for five years and has at least a 20-aircraft fleet, Menon said “we believe it’s not good for the country” as any foreign airline with one aircraft can fly into and out of India.

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