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BW Businessworld

Tata-Sia (Vistara): Wings Of Success

‘We will keep challenging the status quo in the Indian aviation industry and multiply our differentiators’

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In a short span of close to four years after it took off, Vistara, one of India’s finest full-service carrier and a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has rapidly emerged as the country’s favourite airline having expanded to 22 destinations with over 800 flights a week and a fleet of 22 aircraft.

With its relentless commitment to transform the flying experience of people in India by making it more personalised and seamless than ever before, the airline quadrupled the number of customers it flew in the first two years of launch to more than 12 million in October 2018.

This is for the very first time that Vistara has made it to the list of Most Respected Companies, an annual special issue of BW Businessworld. In fact, it narrowly outclassed IndiGo Airlines to emerge not only as the sectoral leader but also figured in the list of top 20 companies selected by an eminent jury panel.

This year too, India’s Most Respected Companies have been ranked after an exhaustive process and due diligence done by an eminent jury panel. This year, the companies have been ranked on the basis of eight parameters including effective growth plan, financial return, innovative product/services, trustworthy leadership, CSR, work culture amongst others.

Today, Vistara consistently enjoys an impressive passenger load factor, usually securing the highest spot among full-service carriers, says a company spokesperson. Besides, the airline continues to consistently maintain the least number of passenger complaints in the industry. Vistara has also led the way in the Indian aviation sector by pioneering the concept of Premium Economy cabin in India, targeting corporate flyers, young entrepreneurs and high-end leisure travellers. The three-class cabin configuration — including Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins — has disrupted the domestic aviation market and challenged the status quo to redefine air travel at a time when it was seen just as a mechanical mode of transportation, and flying largely felt like a mundane experience.

Says Leslie Thng, the chief executive officer of Vistara: “We began our journey with the ambition of being a fine global airline, and we now stand at the juncture where the dream is inching closer to reality with each passing day. We will keep challenging the status quo in the Indian aviation industry and multiply our differentiators to stay ahead of the curve and spread the magic of the ‘new feeling of flying’ across geographies.”

With plans to further expand within and outside India, Vistara recently finalised its order for both purchased and leased aircraft including 50 from the Airbus A320neo family (including the A321neo) with an option to buy seven more aircraft, six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with purchase rights to four additional Boeing 787 aircraft to spread its wings globally. In this direction, the airline strengthened its portfolio of international partners to offer an extended worldwide network to its customers, while also securing the apex operational safety certification IOSA.

Vistara recently signed a codeshare agreement with the UK’s largest carrier, British Airways, to further deepen their already existing interline partnership. It also has codeshare agreements with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, besides interline partnerships/through check-in agreements with 27 other major international airlines.

Vistara has stayed ahead of the curve by pioneering several other customer-focused initiatives. From creating India’s first robot (RADA) designed to assist travellers at airports to offering a dedicated service to solo women travellers in a global-first, to becoming the only airline in South Asia and Southeast Asia to serve Starbucks coffee onboard, the airline has captured the imagination of the country’s discerning travellers in more ways than one.

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