India’s Vistara eyes long-haul flights

VISTARAVistara is likely to venture into the intercontinental market should the Indian government move ahead with plans to withdraw existing “5/20” legislation. The rules currently limits start-up airlines from operating international flights until they have been in service for at least 5 years and operate at least 20 aircraft.

Giam Ming Toh, Vistara’s chief commercial officer commented: “Almost 70% of India’s outbound traffic is west-bound. US will be interesting for us, especially routes like New York JFK and Washington Dulles. “America has Open Sky with India. Once 5/20 goes and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) upgrades the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), we will like to go there. Many cities in Europe will also be interesting for us. Indian carriers are underutilizing their flying rights for overseas destinations. Why not open up flying abroad for them (without having restriction like 5/20)?”

Should the necessary changes occur, Giam has said it would take his airline between 12 to 18 months to source aircraft needed to start long-haul operations.

Government has been sounding out the local Indian aviation community about plans to replace the 5/20 rule with a credit-based scheme in which airlines earn the right to go external by first plying domestic routes. The move has been rejected by the Federation of Indian Airlines, whose membership includes Jet Airways, IndiGo Airlines, and GoAir, on the grounds that it would give the country’s two newest entrants, Singapore Airlines-backed Vistara, and AirAsia-backed AirAsia India (I5, Chennai), an unfair advantage. Vistara and AirAsia India have rejected the claims stating the 5/20 rule does nothing but it stifle the growth of trade and business in the country.

Currently, the only Indian carriers offering long-haul services are Air India (AI, Mumbai Int’l) and Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int’l) while Spicejet (SG, Delhi Int’l) and Indigo offer regional services to nearby Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Singapore, Maldives, the United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Thailand, and Oman.

Filed in: Air Tags: 

Share This Post

Related Posts

© Copyright 2016 All rights reserved

Developed and Maintained by Poorna Corp.