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Vistara defers third plane delivery as DGCA defers permit

Vistara, the proposed full-service carrier from Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture, has deferred the delivery of its third aircraft as it is yet to receive the scheduled operator permit from aviation regulator DGCA, according to sources.

The New Delhi-based Vistara, in which the Tata Group holds 51 per cent stake and Singapore Airlines the remaining, had inducted two aircraft (Airbus 320s) in the fleet last month.

“Vistara was scheduled to take the delivery of the third aircraft last month. However, it has put off induction for the time as it has still not received the flying licence,” an industry source said.

When contacted, a Vistara spokesperson said in a statement: “We have already received the first two aircraft as per the schedule. However, we have adjusted the induction of our next aircraft keeping in mind the delay in the approval process.”

The airline had applied to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the scheduled operator permit (SOP) in April and had planned to launch the services in September.

Vistara has plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including the latest A-320 Neos, by the end of the fourth year of its operations. The airline also has plans to keep the fleet size to five aircraft by next March.

The airline is also facing legal hurdles because the previous UPA government’s decision to approve the joint venture has been challenged in the Delhi High Court saying the 49 per cent FDI rule in aviation does not allow a new airline with FDI, but only to existing airlines. The court is yet to pronounce its view on the petition.

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