Tata-Singapore Airlines-backed full-service carrier Vistara, which will launch commercial operations from January 9, 2015, will lease bigger wide-body jets if the government decides to do away with the 5/20 rule.
The 5/20 rule bars Indian carriers from starting international operations till they have a fleet of 20 aircraft and domestic flying experience of five years.
“We are hopeful that the 5/20 rule will go away. If the Indian aviation industry has to be on the global map, this rule must go,” Vistara CEO Phee Teik Yeoh said on Monday. “As and when it (5/20) goes away, we will look into expediting our international operations,” he added.
The Delhi-headquartered airline, a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and SIA, will have a fleet of A320. Vistara will operate a 148-seater A320 with 16 seats in business class, 36 in premium economy and 96 in economy.
Vistara, initially scheduled to start operations from October 15, will initially fly on on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes.
“There is tremendous amount of excitement surrounding Vistara. The airline will redefine the flying experience,” said Rajji Rai, chairman, Swift Travels.
The airline, which has over 400 employees, plans to add three more planes to its fleet of two by March 2015 and have 20 aircraft by the fourth year of its operations.
Vistara is working on interline sales agreements and partnerships some global airlines including Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.