A day after FIPB cleared the Tata-Singapore Airlines' (SIA) airline venture, Tata group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and SIA chief Goh Choon Phong on Friday met Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh exuding confidence of launching flights by May-June next year.
"We are looking at very fast clearances. We hope that we will be able to launch by May-June," Tata SIA Airlines Chairman Prasad Menon, who accompanied Tata and Goh, told reporters after the 45-meeting with Singh.
Maintaining that the entry of Tata-SIA Airlines would benefit the Indian aviation sector, the minister said SIA was globally known for its expertise in technical and managerial matters and was one of the best airlines in the world.
Asked by when the Civil Aviation Ministry would give the necessary clearances to the new carrier, Singh said, "I don't see any problems. DGCA will have to be satisfied. There are issues relating to fleet, parking space, slots and routes. It depends on how fast they (Tata-SIA) provide all those data and documents."
Complimenting the minister for "opening up the aviation sector in a really global manner", Tata said "It is our responsibility to make him proud" and the Tata Sons' airline venture with SIA was "a great opportunity" towards that end.
The meeting came a day after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave its green signal to their proposal to start a full-service airline entailing an initial foreign investment of $49 million. Tata Sons will invest the remaining $51 million (rpt) 51 million in the joint venture.
This is Tatas' second venture in the aviation sector after its tie-up with Malaysian carrier Air Asia in February for a low-cost passenger air service in the country.