The Tatas, who famously exited the Singur automobile factory in October 2008, are set to fly to Kolkata. The much-discussed TATA-SIA joint venture, Vistara, is all set to touch down at Kolkata airport with its Airbus A-320 aircraft before the Pujas.
“Vistara is coming to Kolkata and another airline Air Asia India will also come, and start operating flights out of the city,” Saugata Roy, chairman, airport advisory committee (AAC) of Kolkata airport and Trinamool Congress MP from Dum Dum said after holding the AAC meeting on Friday. Incidentally, Tatas also have 30% share in Air Asia India.
According to Roy, the deal is sealed under which both the airlines are coming to Kolkata but the dates of commencement of operations and destinations are being finalised.
“Both airlines will start operations soon,” he said.
While Vistara is a full service carrier, Air Asia India is a low-cost carrier (LCC). So Kolkata will get one full service carrier and one LCC together, sources said.
“We have six aircraft at present and we fly to 10 destinations across the country. Three more aircraft are scheduled to join the fleet with which we will increase frequency of flights to the existing destinations, and add a few more new destinations also. Kolkata might be one of the new destinations,” Rashmi Soni, head of corporate communications of Vistara told HT.
Vistara’s Airbus A-320 aircraft has three-class configuration. Airline’s 148-seater aircraft has – business class (16 seats), premium economy class (36 seats) and economy class (96 seats). The premium economy segment is a concept launched by this airline and offers services that are midway between the economy and the business class.
Vistara is only six months old since the airline began its journey on January 9, 2015, with a Delhi-Mumbai flight.
Headquartered in Delhi, Vistara has plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including A-320neos, by the end of the fifth year of operation.
The name Vistara is derived from the Sanskrit word, ‘Vistaar’, which means ‘limitless expanse’, and draws inspiration from the brand’s domain – the ‘limitless’ sky.
The Tatas finally came to West Bengal in 2015 with Vistara but gave Kolkata airport a miss. The airline’s first destination was Bagdogra and it launched its services from April 2.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had greeted the 30 odd passengers who reached Bagdogra by Vistara’s inaugural flight though it was not a part of her schedule.