Vistara gets its 20th aircraft,eligible to fly international
Vistara gets its 20th aircraft,eligible to fly internationalWikimedia Commons

The Tata-Singapore Airline joint venture Vistara is now eligible to start international flights after getting its 20th aircraft on Wednesday.

According to government's 0/20 aviation rule, an airline should have at least 20 aircrafts in its fleet before being allowed to fly internationally. 

"Vistara (on Wednesday) received its 20th aircraft and its seventh Airbus A320neo powered by CFM engines.... With this milestone addition to its fleet, Vistara completes its initial aircraft order as planned at the early stages of setting up the airline. Vistara will use the new aircraft to increase frequencies on existing routes to scale up operations in the domestic market while gearing up to start international operations soon," Times of India reports quoting Vistara as saying.

"This is not just another addition to our fleet, but a landmark one that signals Vistara's arrival on the global map and marks the beginning of our next phase of growth. What Vistara has achieved in three years is nothing less than phenomenal, and we're confident that our distinctive approach to the business will continue to set new benchmarks for the industry" ToI reports quoting Vistara CEO Leslie Thng as saying.

The Indian carriers were earlier required to have five years of operational experience and a fleet of minimum 20 aircrafts to fly overseas. In 2016, the government had relaxed the 5/20 rule and replaced it with 0/20 aviation rule. Under the new policy, the 20-aircraft rule stays, but the requirement of five years of domestic operations has been waived.

Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo already has abroad services. Many other Indian airlines are also gearing up for international runways. AirAsia India, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, is likely to start international operations by the end of 2018.