Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l) commenced scheduled operations on Friday, January 9, with flights between its Delhi Int'l hub and Mumbai Int'l. A joint venture between India's Tata Sons Ltd and Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi), the full-service carrier operates a trio of A320-200 (sl)s having secured its Air Operators Permit from the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in December last year.

“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," Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, said. "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.”

Initial services will likely cover Mumbai Int'l, Goa Dabolim, Hyderabad Int'l, Ahmedabad, Srinagar, Jammu, Patna and Chandigarh. Thereafter, in its second year Vistara will add a further six routes to Chennai, Lucknow, Pune, Varanasi, Kolkata Int'l, and Guwahati, while in its third and fourth year, Amritsar, Indore, and Kochi Int'l will be added. Additional hubs will also be established as and when capacity demands it.

This is Tata Sons' second airline to launch in just over six months with AirAsia India (I5, Bangalore Int'l), a joint venture with Malaysia's AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l), having launched in June 2014.