MUMBAI – The Tata – SIA joint venture’s Indian premium airline Vistara will operate independently of Air India, until they acquire the required regulatory approvals for merger, Vinod Kannan told the press.
The Vistara Airlines CEO is currently at Dubai for launch of new international routes. Singapore Airlines on 29th December announced that its board of directors has approved the Tata Group plan to merge Vistara and Air India.
Vistara CEO Speaks about Air India-Vistara Merger
Vinod Kannan Vistara CEO while commenting about merger between two well-known Indian FSCs said, “It is yet to be seen if the well-known brand Vistara would be diluted or continue operating as an independent entity.”
“There are all discussions which are currently ongoing. Ultimately, there will be a much bigger Air India – a combined carrier that will incorporate all four brands that the Tata Group currently own,” said Vinod.
The Vistara CEO further added that, “At this stage, till the necessary regulatory approvals come ahead, Airline will continue operating separately.”
“We are operating independently of Air India when it comes to both commercial and customer focus because that is the deal as competitors.”
Despite the uncertainties around the airline’s future, it continues to expand its international routes in Gulf countries, Middle East Asia and other destinations.
The airline has around 20 pending deliveries from both Airbus and Boeing aircraft manufacturers. They are waiting to receive four B787 Dreamliner’s and remaining A320s and A321s.
Vistara-Air India Merger
In possibly the greatest ever merger in Indian aviation Industry, Vistara will play significant role as its India’s leading FSC. After getting Singapore Airlines approval and giving stake of 25.1 worth $US250 million, the TATA Group is one step closer to merger.
The TATA group will merge Air India with 3 other carriers including Air Asia India, Air India Express and Vistara.
Overall, the merger will make Tata Group India’s second biggest carrier with around 24 percent market share in terms of passengers served, according to DGCA data on air traffic. IndiGo will remain at top of with 58 percent market share in Indian aviation industry.
Vistara Destinations and Expansion will continue
With tremendous demand in the Indian Gulf corridor, the airline is looking to expand its network in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar. The airline is optimistic with its plans as there is steady rise in demand to these routes – this will help them grow rapidly and put their foothold in these gulf regions.
As reported by AviationSource, the airline has already announced the direct flights between Mumbai and Muscat. It inaugurated the flight today – Monday 12 December.
The Indian carrier has also announced a special introductory return Muscat-Mumbai fare starting from ₹15,999 ($198) in economy, premium economy from ₹21,999 ($273), and business from ₹49,999 ($620).
The Muscat, Oman became the Fourth city in GCC and Middle east region where Vistara Operates. With this Vistara now operates to four Gulf cities including Abu Dhabi (AUH), Dubai (DXB), Jeddah (JED) and newly added Muscat (MCT).
Vistara is Future Ready
CEO Kannan Firmly believes in merging Vistara with TATAs will only bring Growth and new opportunities. He Further said, “We are very proud of our heritage, being a subsidiary of the Tatas. It’s the same heritage, lineage, and the same shareholders.”
“So, this merger is something we are very optimistic about. And we are very proud of what we have built over the last 8 years.”
When asked about the 500 planes order by Air India, he said, “Air India is handling that. I have no clarity on that, but, as I said, the priority for us is to get the 20 pending aircraft to make sure that we expand – that would be the primary goal.”
Vinod Kannan who joined Vistara as CEO in early 2022 has cleared the plan to operate according to original roadmap until the merger. He is also optimistic over Vistara’s merger with Tata owned carriers.
He is well focused towards succeeding Vistara as a brand, whether its independently operated or merged under Air India. With new deliveries and international expansion Vistara will play key role after merger as well.