New Delhi, May 9 IANS | 8 months ago

The proposed joint venture (JV) airline of industrial conglomerate Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines plans to start operations from September 1, according to an application for an operating license submitted to the safety regulator.

"TATA-SIA proposes to engage initially domestic and eventually international full service scheduled passenger airline services in the civil aviation sector in India and to undertake ancillary activities related to airline services," the proposed airline said in its application.

The application for the air operating permit (AOP) submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that it plans to start operations from its hub at New Delhi airport.

Initially, the airline proposes to operate a fleet of Airbus aircraft, including leased A-320 types, which will connect domestic destinations.

The proposed full service passenger carrier can not operate international operations due to existing laws which only allows airlines with at least five years of domestic operations experience and 20 aircraft in fleet to fly abroad.

The airline initially plans 87 weekly flights in the first year of its operations, connecting around 20 destinations to its New Delhi hub.

DGCA has invited public comments on the proposed airline venture. This is the second instance in which DGCA is inviting public comments before issuing a license. It had previously done so for AirAsia India.

DGCA will now also have to check issues relating to the fleet size, parking space, operating slots and routes dispersal.

The JV was approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in October 2013.

Both the companies had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in September 2013 to launch an airline by investing USD 100 million and had sought the FIPB's approval.

On Wednesday, the DGCA also granted the AOP to AirAsia India, a JV Tata Sons, AirAsia Berhad and Arun Bhatia-promoted Telestra Tradeplace.

(Posted on 09-05-2014)

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