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Japan Airlines, Vistara agree on commercial cooperation

We will jointly pursue commercial opportunities... And leverage the strength of both airlines: Yeoh

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Vistara Airlines, Japan Airlines
Tadashi Fujita, EVP, Japan Airlines and Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara at a MoU Singing For Commercial Cooperation in New Delhi. Sanjay K Sharma

will soon finalise plans for international operations, its chief Phee Teik Yeoh said on Thursday as it announced plan to jointly explore "commercial opportunities", including code share partnership, with Airlines.

A joint venture between the Tatas and Airlines, the full-service carrier began commercial operations in January 2015 and has a fleet of 16 aircraft. The number of planes is expected to increase to 20 by March and 22 by June next year.


Under Indian regulations, an airline can fly overseas once it has a fleet of 20 aircraft -- a criterion that would be fulfilled by by March 2018.

Yeoh said the airline is very close to unveiling plans for international operations, adding that is on the radar.

"is on our radar. The question is how, and how many frequencies we start with, what type of aircraft... These are work in progress and we are very close to finalising," the CEO of told reporters here.

Seeking to expand its collaboration with Airlines, both carriers today entered into a (MoU).

"We will jointly pursue commercial opportunities... And leverage the strength of both airlines," Yeoh said.

With the MoU, both carriers would pursue significant cooperation code share and frequent flyer partnerships as well as other operational arrangements.

The code share partnership -- which would help provide seamless connectivity for passengers of both airlines -- is expected to be in place next year.

Already, and Airlines have an 'Inter- Airline Through Check-In' partnership. This allows passengers to have a seamless through check-in facility while connecting to or from a flight in India and over 50 countries across Airlines' network, using a single ticket.

"We continue to expand brand and market presence in even though is not on our map yet but soon to come... It could not have come at an opportune time. India and are set to ratify the open sky agreement some time this month," Yeoh said.

An open sky air service agreement allows airlines from the two countries to have an unlimited number of flights as well as seats to each other's jurisdictions.

Airline's Executive Vice-President Tadashi Fujita said the strengthened partnership with represents a significant milestone for the two carriers to provide customers better access to destinations between and in and India.

To a query, he said there are no plans now to invest in

Airlines has a daily non-stop service between Tokyo (Narita) and Delhi. It has plans of strengthening its presence in the country through a suitable partner to help boost connectivity between and India, connecting through Delhi, a joint press release said.

First Published: Thu, September 07 2017. 15:39 IST
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