Vistara – TATA SIA Airlines Ltd. - Background and History
Vistara is a joint venture of Tata Sons Private Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA), wherein Tata Sons holds 51% stake in partnership and Singapore Airlines owns 49% stake. The company is registered as TATA SIA Airlines Limited.
In 2013, two legendary brands, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, decided to fulfil a long-cherished shared dream to bring forth a distinguished flying experience to air travellers in India. With its strong historical ties with aviation, the Tata group had long wished to re-enter the aviation sector, after Tata Airlines was renamed Air India and eventually, nationalised. Both, the Tata group and Singapore Airlines were also firm believers in the growth potential of the Indian aviation sector and hence tried to enter the market in the past; first, in 1994 by setting up a joint venture to start an airline in India and then in 2000, teaming up to purchase stakes in Air India. However, after the lifting of foreign investment restrictions in 2012, the partners once again sought approval for a tie-up, which it obtained in October 2013. On November 5, 2013, Vistara’s holding company, TATA SIA Airlines Limited, was incorporated.
The common goal of the joint venture is to redefine air travel in India to provide Indian travellers a seamless and personalized flying experience that blends Tata’s and SIA’s service excellence and legendary hospitality. The brand name ‘Vistara’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vistaar’ that means ‘a limitless expanse’. The name Vistara draws inspiration from the world that Vistara inhabits, viz. the ‘limitless’ sky. The brand also draws stimulus from the image that passengers most associate with a smooth and enjoyable flight – the endless, blue horizon they see through the windows of an aircraft. As it aims to transform the flying experience of travellers in India, Vistara christens its brand tagline as ‘fly the new feeling’.
On January 9, 2015, Vistara started its operations with a maiden flight from Delhi to Mumbai. In a short span of time, Vistara has rapidly expanded its footprint, both in terms of network and service proposition. Vistara now serves 40 destinations with over 200 flights daily operated by a fleet of 45 aircraft including 35 Airbus A320, 2 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner™, 2 Airbus A321neo and 6 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. Vistara has already flown more than 20 million happy customers since starting operations.
Vistara’s parentage is reflected in the company’s management with expertise drawn from Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons. The joint venture has a five-member Board, comprising its Chairman, Mr. Bhaskar Bhat, Ex-MD of Titan Company Ltd, Directors-on-Board, Mr. Lee Lik Hsin, Executive VP (Commercial) Singapore Airlines and independent Directors Mr. Som Mittal, former President & Chairman Nasscom, Ms. Sangeeta Pendurkar, CEO, Pantaloons (Aditya Birla Group) and Mr. S. Padmanabhan, Executive Chairman - Tata Business Excellence Group & Group Chief Ethics Officer, Tata Sons. The company’s leadership team includes:
Mr. Leslie Thng, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Niyant Maru, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Vinod Bhat, Chief Information Officer
Mr. Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Nam Kung Sia, Senior Vice President – Ground Services & Projects
Ms. Deepa Chadha, Senior Vice President – Human Resources & Corporate Affairs
Mr. Basil Kwauk, Senior Vice President – Flight Operations
Mr. Sisira Kanta Dash, Senior Vice President – Engineering
Mr. Gurjot Singh Malhi, Advisor to CEO & Chief Ethics Counsellor