Jamshedpur: Tata-SIA Airlines Ltd today said it hoped to launch flights by September-October this year as it expressed “satisfaction” over the progress made in getting the flying licence from aviation regulator DGCA. “The AOP (Air Operator's Permit or flying licence) exercise is progressing well and we are expecting to launch the full service airlines' domestic service in September-October,” S Varadarajan, Chief Human Resource Officer and Chief of Corporate Affairs of the airline, said here.
Varadarajan, who was in the steel city to participate in the HR Conclave 2014 organised by CII Jamshedpur, said Tata-SIA has shared all relevant issues, including the route network plan of the company with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and was awaiting the AOP. The company would procure four to five aircraft by end of March next year and enhance the procurement to 20 in next few years, he said.
To a query on the route network and destinations to launch flights, Varadarajan refused to comment saying the airline's route network wing was taking care of it. Earlier, the JV company got a go-ahead from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in October 2013 and was awaiting AOP for launching a full-service carrier. Tata-SIA Airlines, a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, was also expected to announce its new brand name in the first half of next month and the airline would be based in Delhi.
According to documents submitted to aviation regulator DGCA, it plans to begin services in five cities and go up to 11 within a year of operations. The airline would have 87 weekly flights, linking Delhi with Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Srinagar, Patna and Chandigarh. The DGCA is in the process of examining its application for grant of AOP to launch a full-service carrier after recently dismissing objections from the Federation of Indian Airlines against granting of SOP to Tata-SIA Airline. The approval for an AOP, when granted, would be subject to the orders of the Delhi High Court in a case challenging foreign direct investment in new Indian carriers.