When Air India first started its operations in India, nobody had thought that the route which once looked affordable to rich people alone would one day offer similar space to the middle-class people as well; seems like that the “one day” has finally come. These days you may have to spend 3000 odd rupees to buy a first class “air-conditioned” ticket in a train, while you can enjoy a flight ride in as low as rupees 1499. People had anticipated that competition in the aviation industry would enhance in the future, but nobody knew it would bring prices down to this level.
Just like the telecom industry, aviation too is opening up each day. Around 18 years back, people had to pay two rupees per minute to talk to a person sitting in another state, while today it can be done in less than one paisa per second. Same is the case with the aviation industry; airfares that once looked almost impossible for middle class people to afford have now come down to a level where anyone can afford them, thanks to the new entrants in the industry, which are giving major companies a tough competition. The newest in this list is Vistara; the Singapore Airlines joint venture with the Tata group.
In a recent announcement, Vistara stated that it had received AOP or air operator permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, clearing the road for the company to start its operations in India. AOP is the final and most important step in the compliance process, without which no company can start its airline operations. If everything goes fine, then Vistara would become the second overseas company after Air Asia to start operations in the Indian market.
Over the past one decade, one thing that all the large aviation companies have understood is that the only way to survive in the Indian market is to offer better services and cheaper prices than their counterparts. There are more than half a dozen small and large airline companies running their operations in India, but only those, which can fulfill customers’ expectations are enjoying the continuous success. It seems Vistara’s management is prepared to take on this competition. According to Prasad Menon, Chairman of Vistara, “Getting AOP is the first milestone for the company. We are aware of the expectations that we have to fulfill and quality that we have to offer.”
Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara added to his statement, “We are completely focusing on fulfilling Vistara brand promise. Our main objective is to offer excellent service quality coupled with unique products. We dream to turn-around the travel experience in Indian market completely.”
TATA Sons had announced in September 2013 about entering into a joint venture deal with the Singapore Airlines in order to set up an airline company in India. A year after that, Manmohan Singh government granted the foreign investment in the aviation industry in India. Vistara had applied to DGCA in April and wanted to launch services by September, which got delayed. The airline plans to take off in the Indian market soon, which is a good news for frequent air travelers.
Image Source: [Google]