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Last Updated : Apr 15, 2019 10:34 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

As Jet Airways struggles, Vistara to stay on course to develop network: Report

Vistara Chairman Bhaskar Bhat did not comment on Tata Group’s official stance on a bid for cash-strapped Jet Airways.

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Vistara will continue expanding operations and stick to its long-term growth strategies, Chairman Bhaskar Bhat said.

"Tata SIA (which operates Vistara) while taking into account the situation will stay on course of developing its network both in India and abroad," Bhat told The Economic Times.

Bhat's statement comes at a time when its competitor Jet Airways is struggling to find bidders and continue operations.

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Bhat did not comment on Tata Group’s official stance on a bid for cash-strapped Jet Airways.

"Vistara continues to work with airport operators and the Department of Civil Aviation to secure more slots, specially in challenged locations like Mumbai and Delhi, even as it steadily acquires aircraft to expand network," Bhat told the paper.

Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons, which owns 51 percent of the airline, and Singapore airlines, which has a 49-percent stake.

In November 2018, Tata Sons mulled a proposal for Jet Airways but had concerns about the airline’s reputational risks.

Ratan Tata has so far not replied to a request for comment by The Economic Times.

The Tatas are likely to express interest in Jet Airways only if it goes through insolvency proceedings, a source told the paper.

In the proposal they earlier considered, the Tatas wanted to merge Vistara and Jet Airways.

According to Bhat, Vistara does not plan to become a premier airline but remain a full-service airline known for standards and safety.

“Predatory pricing has been the root cause of the issues now being faced by the sector... Jet is the seventh airline going under. The industry needs to apply themselves into what needs to be done to make it grow. The airline industry has not encouraged ideas and have been promiscuous in its approach in spite of being one of the fastest growing markets in the world,” Bhat said.

Jet Airways' struggles have been advantageous for its rival airlines, making it easier for them to boost their operations.

In March, Vistara received permission to commence international operations and announced a number of new domestic routes earlier this month.

SpiceJet, too, is expanding its international presence. The airline said on April 15 that it would add eight international destinations to its routes.

SpiceJet, Vistara, AirAsia Indian and IndiGo received Jet Airways slots since a number of its aircraft had been grounded over non-payment of due to lessors.
First Published on Apr 15, 2019 10:34 am
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