Taking a step closer to getting its flying licence, Tata-SIA joint venture Vistara took delivery of its first Airbus A-320 aircraft that landed at the IGI Airport here today, as the airline planned to go ahead with its operational launch next month.
The launch of Vistara has been delayed by a couple of weeks due to the late arrival of the aircraft, which would now have to undergo mandatory proving flight tests and other regulatory checks before the aviation regulator DGCA grants the airworthiness certificate and the flying licence or the Scheduled Operator's Permit (SOP).
Airline officials said the operational launch may be held in the later part of October.
With this first acquisition, Vistara plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including the latest A-320 neos, by the end of the fourth year of its operation.
The A-320-200, fitted with 'Sharklets' or large wingtip devices which help reduce fuel burn, was flown to Delhi by Vistara pilots, Capt Gopala Subramaniam and Capt Mandesh Singh, from Airbus manufacturing plant at Toulouse in France, with an overnight halt at Ras-al-Khaimah in the Gulf, the officials told PTI.
The number of seats in the single-aisle aircraft was not disclosed but it would have a business class and economy, with a Vistara spokesperson saying that the airline would "offer its customers the best-in-class in-flight ambience, safety and cabin comfort while driving operational efficiencies".
This is the first of the 20 A-320 family of planes like A-319s, A-320s and A-321s, which are being leased from Singapore-based BOC Aviation.
Vistara has also signed a comprehensive maintenance agreement 'Flight Hour Services Tailored Support Package' with Airbus, which is a first of its kind for any airline in India, the spokesperson said, adding that this would include the areas of airframe maintenance, engineering, reliability and components supply chain management.