New Delhi: At 12.30 pm on 9th January, Vistara’s inaugural flight, to Mumbai, took off from Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, in the presence of Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation who cut the ribbon in the presence of the senior dignitaries at the event.
A host of senior executives from the parent companies – Tata Group and SIA – were onboard the first flight. Amidst palpable excitement Prasad Menon, Chairman, Vistara lit the ceremonial lamp at the check-in counter along with Dr Mukund Rajan, Mak Swee Wah, members of the board of directors, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, Madhu Kannan, NS Rajan, Tata Sons, GEC Members, TK Lim, Singapore HC to India and I Prabhakara Rao, CEO, Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd and was handed over the first boarding pass. The Minister Dr Sharma, then cut the ribbon at the boarding gate to inaugurate the first flight and wished good luck to the Vistara team.
A group of very excited children from the Salaam Baalak Trust aged between 7 and 12 years, were boarded first to enjoy their first flying experience ever. They were followed by the rest of the passengers and the dignitaries. The fully loaded Airbus A320-200 branded in royal aubergine and gold then took off for Mumbai’s GVK Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Terminal 2.
Conveying his best wishes on the occasion of the first Vistara flight, Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, said, “It has been a long-cherished dream for the Tata group to establish a world-class full service airline in India, in partnership with Singapore Airlines, and today that dream has come to life. I would like to dedicate this day to Mr JRD Tata, the man who started it all, and established India’s first international airline. His futuristic vision continues to inspire us and we salute his spirit and dream. I would like to extend my best wishes to the Vistara team as they embark upon a remarkable journey today.”
GM Rao, Chairman, GMR group, said, “Vistara is the latest entrant into our family of partner airlines and we extend our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the team for everlasting success. Vistara is a promising brand with a strong lineage and I am confident that they will deliver an unmatched flying experience to travellers. My team and I join in celebrating this momentous occasion together with the Tata group, Singapore Airlines and Vistara.”
Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines said, “India’s aviation market has been expanding rapidly and we have been eager to directly participate in and contribute towards this growth story for many years. We are confident that Vistara will help to stimulate market demand and provide economic benefits to India, and are committed to supporting Vistara to deliver on its brand promise to Indian travellers.”
Mr Menon, Chairman, TATA SIA Airlines Limited, said, “Today marks the start of the new exciting chapter in Tata group’s history as we take to the skies again. I feel honoured to be part of this journey of Vistara, which has its core philosophy steeped in the same tradition as the Tata group. For long now, we have held on to this particular dream and today I can proudly say that our persistence has been well worth it and has paid off. Vistara’s first flight today is a commencement of a unique flying experience.”
Mr Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said, “To see Vistara take flight in record time is a matter of great pride to me and my entire team that has been working tirelessly for the past many months. The flight today has re-energised the team which is now focused on ensuring that we live up to our brand promise of a seamless and personalised Vistara experience. Today I would like to invite India to ‘Fly the New Feeling’ with Vistara.”