Vistara Airlines, India’s finest full service carrier and a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines inaugurated their service to Colombo on the 25th of November 2019, at the Bandaranaike International Airport, (BIA) amidst a warm welcome given by officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Industry representatives and senior officials. The traditional dance troupe which was organized by SLTPB entertained the visitors by guiding them through the Silk route with their exclusive performance and was enjoyed by many tourists and passengers who were present at the airport. As usual on its arrival the new aircraft was given the traditional water cannon salute, and afterwards the official opening ceremony was started with by lighting the traditional Oil Lamp, and cutting a cake, followed by refreshments including traditional sweetmeats. The distinguished guests who were present at the event included Mr. Vinodh Kannan , Vistara Chief Strategy Officer , Mr. Mohan Pandithage , Hayleys PLC Chairman and Chief Executive , Dr. Sushil Kumar , First Secretary , Economic and Commerce of the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka,Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka Air Transport and Economic regulation Director , Mr. Rehan Wanniappa , Mr. Ruwan Waidyarathne , Executive Director , Hayley’s PLC , Vistara , Mr. Ishara Gunawardene ,Manager , Air sales and traffic rights ,Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Ms. Meenaskshi Chauhan , Sales Manager International , Vistara, and other distinguished officials of the respective organizations.
Mr. Ruwan Waidyarathne , Executive Director , Hayley’s PLC mentioned in his speech as thus : ‘’We are indeed honored to have Vistara to fly in to Colombo . As an organization set up by two World class companies, Singapore Airlines and Tata of India, Vistara brings in great value to consumers in Sri Lanka we’re proud and indeed happy that Vistara selected Sri Lanka to be their fourth international destination. And I’m sure this is a great and an opportune moment and I’m indeed optimistic of this great partnership. I’m sure we will be able to take Vistara in Sri Lanka to greater heights and I’m sure that this will be a great start for a fantastic partnership between Hayley’s and Vistara. ‘’ He also thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Civil Aviation Authority, Airport and Aviation services, and all other stake holders who made their contribution to make this occasion a success.
Addressing the distinguished gathering, M. Vinod Kannan, Chief Strategy officer, Vistara mentioned, ‘’we are very happy to step into another new geography with flights to Sri Lanka, a nation with enormous potential for tourism as well as trade. To Sri Lanka, we introduce India’s only five-star Airline that’s committed to making a mark across the globe with a world class product and impeccable service delivery. We are confident that travelers will enjoy the unmatched hospitality when flying the ‘’new feeling’’ with ‘’Vistara’’. He added.
In organizing the launch, Hayley’s Aviation PLC operated as the main ground handling agent for the Airline, and subsequently Vistara has appointed North South Airlines Pvt Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of the iconic Sri Lankan Conglomerate, Hayley’s PLC as it’s representation Company in Sri Lanka.
The Airline inaugurated its international operations in August 2019 with Singapore as its first destination, followed by Dubai, UAE, Bangkok and Thailand.In the last seven months, the airline has expanded its fleet and network by close to 50% each and has flown around 4.5 million passengers. Vistara’s fleet size is set to almost double by the end of the current financial year ending March 2020, when compared to the size at the start of FY19-20.
Vistara is Indias highest rated Airline on Skytrax, and Trip Advisor and the winner of several ‘’Best Airline’’ awards. It has consistently raised the bar for operations and service delivery in the Indian Aviation Industry in a short span of time to be known today as India’s only five –star airline (per 2020 APEX OFFICIAL AIRLINE RATINGS) .Vistara continues to grow rapidly across India and abroad as it is poised to induct as many as 56 narrow –body and wide –body aircraft over the next four years, including 50 Aircraft from the Airbus A320neo family for domestic and international short and medium haul operations and 6 Boeing B787-9 for long haul international operations. Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines.