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Vistara

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Vistara
Vistara logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
UK VTI VISTARA
Founded2013; 5 years ago (2013)
Commenced operations9 January 2015 (2015-01-09)
HubsIndira Gandhi International Airport
Frequent-flyer programClub Vistara
Fleet size21
Destinations22
Company sloganFly the new feeling
Parent companyTata Sons
HeadquartersLevel 10, One Horizon Center, Golf Course Rd, Gurgaon
Key people
Employees900 (March 2016)[1]
Websiteairvistara.com

Tata SIA Airlines Limited, operating as Vistara, is an Indian domestic airline based in Gurgaon with its hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport. The carrier, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, commenced operations on 9 January 2015 with its inaugural flight between Delhi and Mumbai. The airline had carried more than two million passengers by June 2016[2] and as of May 2017, has a 3.3% share of the domestic carrier market, making it the 6th largest domestic airline.[3] The airline serves twenty-two destinations with a fleet of Airbus A320-200 aircraft. Vistara was the first airline to introduce premium economy seats on domestic routes in India.

History[edit]

Vistara's first Airbus A320 aircraft (VT-TTB)[4] at Delhi IGI Airport

The airline was founded in 2013 as a joint venture (JV) between India's conglomerate Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines (SIA).[5][6][7][8][9] The two companies had made a bid in the mid-1990s to launch a full service carrier in India that was unsuccessful, being denied regulatory approval by the Indian government.[10] With India opening up its airline sector for 49 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2012, Tata and SIA once again decided to float a JV airline company in India.[11] The JV, Tata SIA Airlines Limited (TSAL), was envisaged as a premium full-service carrier to cater to the demands of high-end business travellers in India's civil aviation market dominated by low-cost carriers. India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board approved the JV in October 2013, allowing SIA to take a 49 percent stake in the airline.[12] The two parent companies initially pledged to invest a combined US$100mn as start-up capital, with Tata Sons owning 51 percent and Singapore Airlines owning the remaining 49 percent.[13] This was part of Tata's second major foray into the aviation sector along with a minority stake in AirAsia India.[14] The company's first venture, Tata Airlines, was established in the 1930s and later became the flag carrier Air India after nationalization.[15]

The company unveiled its brand identity "Vistara" on 11 August 2014.[6] The name was taken from the Sanskrit word vistāra, meaning "limitless expanse".[16][17] Vistara received its air operator's certificate from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on 15 December 2014 and started operations on 9 January 2015.[14][18][19] Vistara became the first carrier to operate domestic services out of the new Terminal 2 at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.[20] On 24 August 2015, Vistara inaugurated the Aviation Security Training Institute, an in-house institute for training its cockpit and cabin crew, security staff and others related to aviation industry. The institute has secured the necessary approvals from the nodal body Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.[21] From the first month of operation, Vistara consistently achieved very high on-time performance (OTP) records of over 90 percent, the highest among India's domestic carriers.[22][23] On 20 August 2015, Vistara declared it had carried half a million passengers in just over seven months of operations.[24] As of February 2016, Vistara has a share of 2% in the domestic carrier market.[25] Vistara recently received the membership of the International Air Transport Association (IATA),[26] joining the association of more than 280 airlines around the world that represents, leads and serves the airline industry. With this, Vistara becomes one of the select few airlines in India to have the IATA membership.

Corporate affairs[edit]

On 15 April 2014,[27] Vistara chose Mr Phee Teik Yeoh as the chief executive officer (CEO) and Mr Giam Ming Toh[28] as the chief commercial officer (CCO), both from Singapore Airlines.[29]

In March 2015, Vistara shifted to its new office at the One Horizon Center tower in Sector 43, Gurgaon, a satellite city of Delhi.[30][31] Initially it started out with a three-member board comprising Swee Wah Mak (SIA group), Mukund Rajan and Prasad Menon (Tata group), with the latter as chairman.[32][33] In August 2015, the airline expanded the board by introducing two new members, Som Mittal and Sangeeta Pendurkar, along with an equity infusion of 2 billion (US$28 million), part of 5 billion (US$70 million) initially planned by Tata and SIA together.[34][35] In January 2016, Bhaskar Bhat, present Managing Director of Titan, joined as the new chairman following Prasad Menon's retirement.[36][37][38] In March 2016, Vistara appointed Sanjiv Kapoor as its chief strategy and commercial officer as the successor to Giam Ming Toh who was scheduled to leave in mid April 2016 following completion of his deputation at Vistara.[39]

On 16 October 2017, it was announced that Leslie Thng would succeed Yeoh Phee Teik as CEO of Vistara.[40] Mr Yeoh returned to Singapore Airlines to take up a senior management role as Acting Senior Vice President of Customer Experience.[41] Mr Thng was serving as Chief Commercial Officer of Budget Aviation Holdings, a Singapore Airlines subsidiary, prior to his appointment in Vistara.[42] Before that, Mr Thng was the Chief Executive Officer of SilkAir, a full service regional airline under Singapore Airlines.[43]

Destinations[edit]

As of March 2018, Vistara flies to the following destinations within India:[44]

State City Airport Notes Ref.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair Veer Savarkar International Airport [45]
Assam Guwahati Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport [45]
Chandigarh Chandigarh Chandigarh International Airport [45]
National Capital Territory Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport Hub [45]
Goa Vasco da Gama Goa International Airport [45]
Gujarat Ahmedabad Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport [45]
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu Jammu Airport [45]
Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar Srinagar Airport [45]
Jammu and Kashmir Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport [45]
Jharkhand Ranchi Birsa Munda Airport [45]
Karnataka Bangalore Kempegowda International Airport [45]
Kerala Kochi Cochin International Airport [45]
Maharashtra Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport [45]
Maharashtra Pune Pune International Airport [45]
Odisha Bhubaneswar Biju Patnaik International Airport [45]
Punjab Amritsar Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport [46]
Tamil Nadu Chennai Chennai International Airport [45]
Telangana Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport [45]
Uttar Pradesh Lucknow Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport [45]
Uttar Pradesh Varanasi Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport [47]
West Bengal Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport [45]
West Bengal Siliguri Bagdogra Airport [45]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Vistara codeshares with the following airlines:

Interline agreements[edit]

Vistara has interline agreements with the following airlines:[50]

Fleet[edit]

Vistara Airbus A320 at Bangalore, December 2015

As of April 2018, the Vistara fleet consists of the following aircraft:[54][55]

Vistara fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers[56] Notes
J S Y Total
Airbus A320-200 13 8 24 126 158
Airbus A320neo 8 50[57] 8 24 126 158 13 aircraft to be purchased and 37 to be leased.[57][58][59][60]
Airbus A321neo 6[60] TBA
Boeing 787-9 6[57] TBA Six aircraft to be purchased with an additional four as options. Deliveries from 2020.[57][59][61]
Total 21 62

Vistara took delivery of its first aircraft at New Delhi on 25 September 2014.[62] The airline took delivery of the last of its thirteen original Airbus A320 aircraft in October 2016[63] and plans to receive its seven Airbus A320neo aircraft by mid-2018.[63] In March 2015, Phee Teik Yeoh announced that the airline was planning to procure an unspecified number of both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft to enhance the domestic network and launch international flights within two years.[64][65]

Services[edit]

Cabin[edit]

Business class[edit]

Being a full-service carrier, Vistara offers 8 business class seats, two rows in 2-2 configuration, in its 158-seater Airbus A320-200 fleet. The business class seats are 20.12 inches (511 mm) wide with 42 inches (1,100 mm) seat pitch.[66][67]

Premium Economy[edit]

Vistara was the first airline in India to introduce Premium Economy class in the domestic market.[68] At present it offers 24 premium economy seats, four rows in 3-3 configuration, out of total 158 seats in the single aisle Airbus A320-200 aircraft in its fleet. Each being 18 inches (460 mm) wide and having a pitch of 33–36 inches (840–910 mm).[66]

In-flight entertainment[edit]

Vistara's Airbus A320-200s do not have in-flight entertainment screens installed and it provides pre-loaded tablets for its business-class fliers.[69] In March 2016, Vistara started beaming content directly to passengers' personal electronic devices through one-way Wi-Fi connection through BAE Systems IntelliCabin in-flight entertainment system.[70]

Catering[edit]

The in-flight food is catered by TajSATS Air Catering, another joint venture between Tata and a Singaporean company, headed by Chef Arun Batra, formerly the executive chef of the Taj Hotels group.[71] Vistara offers four different meals for each cabin for different time of the day — breakfast, refreshment, lunch and dinner with options of one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian dish in economy class; two vegetarian dishes and one non-vegetarian dish in premium economy; and two vegetarian and two non-vegetarian dishes for business-class cabin. The menu is typically changed every seventh day and there are different menus for lunch and dinner.[72] It also provides special meals upon request 24 hours before departure.[73][74]

Lounge[edit]

On 29 March 2016, Vistara inaugurated premium lounge service for its Business-class passengers and Club Vistara Platinum & Gold members at the departure level of Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi. The lounge is spread across 250 square metres on the air-side and can seat 75 people at a time.[75]

Frequent-flyer program[edit]

Vistara uses Club Vistara as its frequent-flyer program;[76] it operates as a value based program and awards points on the basis of money spent on tickets rather than miles travelled by passengers.[77] On 29 January 2015, Vistara announced a partnership agreement with Singapore Airlines which would allow Club Vistara members to earn and redeem miles with the KrisFlyer program on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights.[78]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Vistara at Wikimedia Commons