Monday, April 15, 2019

Vistara will continue to develop its network in India & abroad; mum on Tata group's stand on Jet: Bhaskar Bhat

Mumbai: Air Vistara’s long-term growth strategies will not be swayed by short-term developments, the airline’s chairman Bhaskar Bhat said while declining to comment on the Tata Group’s official stand on Jet Airways, which is up for sale.
Tatas did not participate in the recent expression of interest invited for Jet Airways by its lenders, which intrigued industry watchers because the group was expected to bid given that Vistara needs to expand its network and get more landing slots to have a national reach and be viable.
“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 ET. “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.”
Lenders to Jet led by State Bank of India had invite expression of interest from potential buyers in a bid to mobilise an estimated Rs 8,500 crore for the airline’s revival at the earliest.
Last week, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines Ltd infused a combined Rs 900 crore in their joint venture Tata SIA to improve the airline’s financial health and take delivery of new planes from Airbus SE and Boeing Co. “We are mindful of the requirements of our business,” Bhat said. “It has been equal infusion of funds from both the partners.”
Bhat, managing director at Titan Co and director at the group’s holding firm Tata Sons, had taken additional charge as chairman of Vistara in 2016.
15/04/19 Kaia Vijayaraghavan/Aniran Chowdhury/Economic Times