Vistara Poaches People From IndiGo, JetLite
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Vistara, the Tata Sons-Singapore International Airlines (SIA) joint venture, which is awaiting flying permit from the aviation regulator DGCA, has inducted a senior pilot from IndiGo to head its safety team, according to sources.
Besides, the carrier has also picked up JetLite quality manager Deepak Joshi to be a part of its safety wing, sources familiar with the development told PTI.
Vistara, in which Tata Sons has 51 per cent stake with the rest being held by SIA, is likely to take off next month subject to issuance of the air operator permit (AOP) by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
"IndiGo senior Commander Ashutosh Verma has moved to Vistara where he has been made head of the safety wing," the sources said.
Verma is a DGCA-approved examiner, trainer and instructor, a mandatory requirement for the key job in an airline, they said.
Joshi, who was handling some key responsibilities as quality control manager at JetLite, including aircraft deliveries, joined Vistara early this month, they said.
The private airline has already appointed C.S. Varadarajan as Chief Human Resources Officer, Phee Teik Yeoh as CEO, Giamming Toh as Chief Commercial Officer and Niyant Maru as Chief Financial Officer. Capt Roshan Joshi from SIA will head the flight operations.
Last month, Tata Group and SIA named the carrier Vistara with Delhi as its headquarters.
The name Vistara is derived from the Sanskrit word "Vistaar", which means "limitless expanse", and draws inspiration from the brand’s domain - the "limitless" sky.
The airline will begin operations with one Airbus 320 and the number of aircraft will be scaled up to five over the next few years.
The full-service airline Vistara's launch is further expected to increase competition for loss-making flag carrier Air India, which is under pressure from low-cost airlines.
A strong economy is fuelling expansion in India's aviation sector, with passenger numbers growing 13 per cent annually since 2003.
But high fuel taxes and airport charges make the airline business in India challenging. Airlines have accumulated $10 billion in losses since 2007, with last year alone their losses amounting to about $1.8 billion.
This year airline losses are projected at $1.4 billion, according to industry consultancy Centre for Aviation (CAPA).