Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Tata Sons (Tata) have confirmed the merger of Vistara into Air India, with SIA investing Rs 20,585 million ($250 million) in the new Air India as part of the agreement.
Singapore Airlines will now have a 25.1% share in an expanded Air India group.
The target date for the merger is March 2024.
Singapore and Tata previously launched Vistara in 2013.
The merger agreement will end the Vistara brand.
With this merger agreement and a new ownership group, a new livery for Air India is very likely in 2023.
In other news, Air India has announced the strengthening and expansion of its global footprint with the launch of new flights connecting Mumbai with New York, Paris and Frankfurt, and the resumption of nonstop flights connecting Delhi with Copenhagen, Milan and Vienna.
This expansion comes as the airline continues to make progress in augmenting its fleet with newly- leased aircraft, and the return of existing aircraft to active service.
The new Mumbai-New York service will operate daily to John F Kennedy International Airport using Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, and will commence on February 14, 2023. It will complement Air India’s existing daily service from Delhi to New York area’s John F Kennedy International Airport and 4 weekly flights to Newark Liberty Airport. This takes Air India’s India-US frequency to 47 nonstop flights per week.
Above Copyright Photo: Air India Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALE (msn 36304) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 905947.
To Europe, Air India will add four weekly Delhi-Milan v.v. route starting from February 1, 2023, and thrice-weekly flights on each of Delhi-Vienna v.v. and Delhi-Copenhagen v.v., commencing from February 18 and March 1, 2023 respectively. From Mumbai, new flights are also planned to Paris* (3 weekly) and Frankfurt* (4 weekly) starting next quarter. All these flights will be operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.
In other news, Vistara, a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, has announced nonstop flights between Mumbai and Muscat, the capital of Oman, starting on December 12, 2022. The airline will operate daily flights between the two cities using its Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Schedule of flights to/from Muscat, Oman effective 12 December 2022:
Days of Operation
Mumbai – Muscat
Muscat – Mumbai
3:10 Hrs (+1)
* All timings shown are in local time zones
*+1 indicates next day arrival
Top Copyright Photo: Vistara Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VT-TSD (msn 66526) LHR (Richard Vandervord). Image: 952527.
Vistara, a joint venture between TATA group and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA), took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft in New Delhi on July 24. The aircraft, arriving from Airbus’ final assembly lines in Hamburg, Germany, features India’s most advanced aircraft cabin in the sky with fully flat beds in business class.
Overall, Vistara’s A321neo features a three-class layout with 12 seats in business class, 24 in premium economy and 152 in economy class. The aircraft is the first of six A321neo for the airline, on lease by Air Lease Corporation and part of the 50 A320neo Family aircraft order signed in 2018.
All Vistara A321neo will be powered by latest-generation CFM-Leap 1A engines. These aircraft will be supported by Airbus’ Flight Hour Services Tailored Support Package (FHS-TSP) programme to optimise and secure Vistara fleet operations. The aircraft will complement Vistara’s current Airbus fleet of 32 A320 Family aircraft.
The A321neo is the largest member of the Airbus’ benchmark A320 Family, seating up to 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. It incorporates the latest technologies, including latest-generation engines, aerodynamic advances and cabin innovations, delivering 20 percent fuel savings. The aircraft offers significant environmental benefits as at least 20 percent reduced emissions and a nearly 50 percent smaller noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft. To date, the orderbook for the A320neo Family stands at 7,445 aircraft.
United Airlines and Vistara announced the start of a new codeshare agreement allowing United customers to book travel on 68 Vistara-operated flights to 26 destinations throughout India for travel beginning February 28.
The codeshare builds on the agreement between the airlines in which MileagePlus and Vistara’s loyalty program members earn and redeem miles when flying on either of the airline’s route network.
The United and Vistara agreement offers customers a simplified experience when planning travel between dozens of destinations throughout India including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Goa, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Udaipur, Varanasi and more.
As India’s highest-rated airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor, winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards, and the only 5-star rated airline in India (Apex 2020), Vistara has consistently raised the bar for operations and service delivery in the Indian aviation industry in a short span of five years. The airline is poised to grow its fleet by adding more than 50 narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, including Airbus A321neo and Boeing B787-9, in the next three years.
Every customer. Every flight. Every day.
United continues to strengthen its commitment to its customers, looking at every aspect of its business to ensure that the carrier keeps customers’ best interests at the heart of its service. In addition to today’s announcement, United recently:
Announced that MileagePlus award miles will never expire
Committed $40 million toward a new investment initiative focused on accelerating the development of sustainable aviation fuels and other decarbonization technologies
Established Miles on a Mission, a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing platform which gives customers a simple way to donate miles to non-profit organizations and charities in need of air travel
Launched ConnectionSaver, a digital tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers with connecting flights
Instituted PlusPoints, new upgrade benefits for MileagePlus Premier members
Gave Economy customers a choice of complimentary snacks on domestic flights
Made DIRECTV free for every customer on more than 200 aircraft