Vistara CEO
Vistara CEOReuters

Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have infused Rs 500 crore in their new domestic airline Vistara. The investment is a part of the Rs 600-crore funding announced by the partners in the joint venture earlier in 2013.

The airline seems to have received its latest round of funding (of Rs 200 crore) last month, with the promoters getting fresh shares for their investment.

In August, the carrier had appointed the former president of Nasscom Som Mittal and managing director of Kellog India Sangeeta Pendurkar as independent directors on the board. With their inclusion, the number of board members of Vistara has risen to five, with Prasad Menon, former managing director of Tata Chemicals, as Chairperson.

Confirming the developments, an airline spokesperson said SIA Chief Executive Goh Choon Phong and Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry met in Mumbai last month.

"It was a regular courtesy meeting between the two," the spokesperson told Business Standard.

Launched in January, Vistara now covers 10 destinations in the country. The airline will introduce flights to Bhubaneswar next month, adding one more destination to its network.

"Vistara is sufficiently funded to manage operations in the initial phase. We will review our plans as and when required. Our fleet expansion plan also stays as per our strategy. We will be inducting three more aircraft to our existing fleet of six by the end of the calendar year and have a fleet size of 20 by 2018," Vistara spokesperson said.

Currently, the airline operates 245 daily flights and has seen half a million passengers travelling by its flights since January. However, its flight occupancy rate is only 60%, which is well below that of its competitors.

The Gurgaon-based airline is seeking a relaxation in the rules to begin operating international flights. Under the current policy, Indian airlines, which has operated domestic flights for five years and has a minimum fleet of 20 planes, is allowed to fly international flights.

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