Back in 1994, Tata group and Singapore Airlines (SIA) made efforts to set up a joint venture airline in India. Six years later, they again tried to enter the country’s aviation market, this time by teaming up to acquire stakes in Air India.
However, the two attempts did not take-off. Finally, they realised their dream as Vistara took to the Indian skies in January 2015.
On Tuesday, Tata group announced the merger of Vistara with Air India.
The name ‘Vistara’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vistaar’ which means ‘a limitless expanse’.
Vistara, which is now the country’s second largest airline in terms of domestic market share, operated its first flight on January 9, 2015, from Delhi to Mumbai.
In October, Vistara had a market share of 9.2 per cent.
At present, Vistara connects 43 domestic and overseas destinations, operates more than 260 flights daily. It has a fleet of 54 aircraft and close to 4,500 employees.
According to the airline’s website, in 2013, the two legendary brands, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, decided to fulfil a long-cherished shared dream to bring forth a distinguished flying experience to air travellers in India.
“With its strong historical ties with aviation, the Tata group had long wished to re-enter the aviation sector, after Tata Airlines was renamed Air India and eventually, it was nationalised.
“Both, the Tata group and Singapore Airlines were also firm believers in the growth potential of the Indian aviation sector and hence tried to enter the market in the past; first, in 1994 by setting up a joint venture to start an airline in India and then in 2000, teaming up to purchase stakes in Air India,” as per the website.
After the restrictions on foreign investments in the airline space was lifted in 2012, Tata group and Singapore Airlines again sought approval for a tie-up and obtained the clearance in October 2013. And in November 2013, TATA SIA Airlines Ltd — the holding company of Vistara — was incorporated.
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