Vistara (Delhi) as planned, launched schedule passenger operations today (January 9). The first flight connected Delhi with Mumbai.
The new airline issued this statement and photos:
At 12.30 pm today (January 9), Vistara’s inaugural flight, to Mumbai, took off from Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, in the presence of Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Honorable Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation who cut the ribbon in the presence of the senior dignitaries at the event (above).
A host of senior executives from the parent companies – Tata Group and SIA – were onboard the first flight. Amidst palpable excitement Mr Prasad Menon, Chairman, Vistara lit the ceremonial lamp at the check-in counter along with Dr Mukund Rajan, Mr Mak Swee Wah, Members of the Board of Directors, Mr Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO Vistara, Mr Madhu Kannan, Mr NS Rajan, Tata Sons GEC Members, Mr TK Lim, Singapore HC to India and Mr I Prabhakara Rao, CEO, Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd and was handed over the first boarding pass. The Hon’ble Minister Dr Sharma, then cut the ribbon at the boarding gate to inaugurate the first flight and wished good luck to the Vistara team.
A group of very excited children from the Salaam Baalak Trust aged between 7-12 years, were boarded first to enjoy their first flying experience ever. They were followed by the rest of the passengers and the dignitaries. The fully loaded Airbus A320-200 branded in royal aubergine and gold then took off for Mumbai’s GVK Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Terminal 2.
While congratulating the entire team at Vistara and the executives from Tata and SIA, Dr Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said: “Though India is projected to be the third largest aviation market globally by 2020, and the sector opening up to allow 49 % FDI will attract many new players, the focus will be on safety and quality, which is more important. Also it is the prime ministers vision to develop India as a leading tourism hub and connectivity is imperative to achieve this. So we welcome Vistara”.
Conveying his best wishes on the occasion of the first Vistara flight, Mr Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, said, “It has been a long-cherished dream for the Tata group to establish a world-class full service airline in India, in partnership with Singapore Airlines, and today that dream has come to life. I would like to dedicate this day to Mr JRD Tata, the man who started it all, and established India’s first international airline. His futuristic vision continues to inspire us and we salute his spirit and dream. I would like to extend my best wishes to the Vistara team as they embark upon a remarkable journey today.”
Mr GM Rao, Chairman, GMR group, said, “Vistara is the latest entrant into our family of partner airlines and we extend our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the team for everlasting success. Vistara is a promising brand with a strong lineage and I am confident that they will deliver an unmatched flying experience to travelers. My team and I join in celebrating this momentous occasion together with the Tata group, Singapore Airlines and Vistara.”
Mr Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines said, “India’s aviation market has been expanding rapidly and we have been eager to directly participate in and contribute towards this growth story for many years. We are confident that Vistara will help to stimulate market demand and provide economic benefits to India, and are committed to supporting Vistara to deliver on its brand promise to Indian travellers.”
Mr Prasad Menon, Chairman, TATA SIA Airlines Limited, said, “Today marks the start of the new exciting chapter in Tata Group’s history as we take to the skies again. I feel honoured to be part of this journey of Vistara, which has its core philosophy steeped in the same tradition as the Tata group. For long now, we have held on to this particular dream and today I can proudly say that our persistence has been well worth it and has paid off. Vistara’s first flight today is a commencement of a unique flying experience.”
Mr Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said, “To see Vistara take flight in record time is a matter of great pride to me and my entire team that has been working tirelessly for the past many months. The flight today has re-energized the team which is now focused on ensuring that we live up to our brand promise of a seamless and personalized Vistara experience. Today I would like to invite India to ‘Fly the New Feeling’ with Vistara.”
TATA SIA Airlines Limited, known by the brand name Vistara, is a joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) with Tata Sons holding the majority stake of 51% in the company and SIA holding the remaining 49%. Vistara brings together Tata’s and SIA’s legendary hospitality and renowned service excellence to launch the finest full service carrier in India aimed at creating memorable and personalised flying experiences for its customers. Obsessed with quality, the company aims to set new standards in the aviation industry in India, with international best practices and state-of-the-art technology in the Indian air transport sector.
Photos: Vistara. The red ribbon is cut at the start of operations.