The Tata-Singapore Airlines (SIA) joint venture Vistara Airlines has received government’s nod to fly on international routes. By Kumar Shree
Amidst all the talks about ups-and-downs going on in the aviation sector, this news comes as a whiff of fresh breeze: Tata-SIA’s joint venture Vistara Airlines has received the permission to fly on international routes. This approval will make Vistara, the fifth carrier from India to fly on international routes.
Apparently, Vistara wanted to kickstart their international operations last year itself, but they could not manage to get the required permissions because of strict aviation policies and the 5/20 rule for airlines seeking to fly internationally. The 5/20 rule states — the airlines must have been in business for at least five years, and have a fleet of 20 aircraft. While Vistara had a fleet of more than 20 aircraft, it did not comply with the five-year policy.
The airlines, however, had already added 60 aircrafts for their international operations anticipating a positive response of clearance from the government. “We are hopeful of getting the permission to fly international soon,” Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara had earlier said at the CAPA Aviation Summit.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation came up with a new and liberal aviation policy in 2016. This policy dropped the five-year requirement, and that paved the way for Vistara. It is now that Vistara Airlines has sought the clearance, it has sought permission of operating non-stop seven days a week flights between Delhi and Colombo.
In the meantime, Vistara was plying its flights in the Indian airspace; it has widely diversified its routes in India and has also focused on improving the flight experience. Recently on the International Women’s Day, Vistara announced that it would provide free sanitary napkins on-request to the women onboard its flights. “The airline will provide ISO 9001:2015 certified, bio-degradable and organic sanitary napkins made from plant-based fibres that are free of plastic, toxins and perfume,” Vistara had said.
Vistara will also complete its five years in operation next year as it started operating in 2015.