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Rediff.com  » Business » Vistara launch may get delayed by a couple of months

Vistara launch may get delayed by a couple of months

September 10, 2014 19:16 IST

A Singapore Airways aircraft

An Airbus A380 jet of Singapore Airlines takes off from the airport in Zurich. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

The launch of Vistara, the Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture airline, may get delayed by a couple of months due to regulatory approvals, officials said on Wednesday.

The airline, which is slated to get its first Airbus A-320 soon, had earlier announced plans to start operations in October.

The proposed carrier would have to complete various formalities before the aviation regulator DGCA gives it the flying licence or the Scheduled Operator's Permit, the officials said.

As part of the major formalities, the plane which arrives in New Delhi would have to be painted in Vistara colours.

A Singapore Airlines stewardess.

A Singapore Airlines stewardess poses at a first class cabin seat during the launch of their new generation of cabin products at Changi Airport in Singapore. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

It would then have to carry out a number of proving flights before the aviation regulator DGCA grants it clearance to launch services by granting it the airworthiness certificate, they said, adding that the painting would have to be done in Singapore.

The full-service carrier would also have to prepare the flight, operations and engineering manuals and get them approved by the DGCA, the officials, who requested anonymity, said, adding that all this would take at least a couple of months.

An airline spokesperson said, "Vistara is working very closely with the regulators to ensure all requisite requirements and processes are being complied with."

A Singapore Airlines aircraft.

A Singapore Airlines aircraft. Photograph: Jean-PhilippeArles/Reuters

Delhi-based Vistara is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines and the two stakeholders have said they would put in a total investment of $100 million.

In August, Vistara CEO Phee Teik Yeoh had said, "We are in the last lap of the process of securing the SOP. There are a series of approvals which we have to get to the satisfaction of DGCA."

He had also said that the first aircraft would be coming in by September and five aircraft would be available ‘in our fleet by the end of this calendar year’.

The proposed carrier has decided to lease 20 Airbus A-320s, including seven A-320 Neo series planes which have the latest technology on board and planned to have a 20-aircraft fleet in five years.

The airline plans to start services to five cities and go up to 11 within a year with 87 weekly flights.

The plans are to link Delhi with Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Srinagar, Patna and Chandigarh.

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