India’s newest airline, Vistara is set for launch with flights planned as early as October
Subject to approval from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the airline hopes to fly business and economy class passengers sometime in October. Here’s what we know about the airline:
- Vistara – a Sanskrit word meaning “limitless expanse” – is 49 percent owned by Singapore Airlines
- Mumbai based Tata conglomerate controls 51 percent
- Vistara will take delivery of its first plane, an Airbus A320-200, in September, and will have five aircraft by December
- The airline plans to increase its fleet to 20 by the end of its fifth year in business
- Vistara’s new chief executive projects a strong future for the new carrier thanks to India’s fast-growing middle class
- Chief executive Phee Teik Yeoh told reporters in New Delh that flights could begin as early as October
India’s air passenger market has expanded at a rapid pace but many companies are laden with debts and beset by cut-throat fare wars, high fuel costs and shoddy infrastructure.
The country’s second biggest carrier, Jet Airways announced on Monday a loss of 2.2 billion rupees in the three months running up to June 30. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation consultancy estimates the industry will lose $1.3-1.4 billion in the financial year to March 2015 after losing $1.7 billion in 2013-14. However, Vistara’s chief exec is confident that the airline will not fail.
Is the future about to change for Indian aviation? Let us know what you think.