Singapore Airlines (SIA), which is in the process of launching a full service carrier in a 49:51 joint venture with Tata Group, has said its partnership with the latter is a competitive collaboration.
“I think there is some compatibility obviously in the relationship… There is competitive collaboration and adversarial competition,” SIA senior vice president for product services Tan Pee Teck said during a recent interaction.
He was responding to a question as to what kind of synergy does the SIA look at its JV partner Tatas which has also invested in no-frill carrier AirAsia India.
Noting that Tatas have seen an opportunity in new areas of business by collaborating with SIA, Teck said, “I think you probably know who our adversaries are in the aviation world. Every one is looking for growth in their businesses.”
It may be noted here that domestic airlines body Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) has bitterly opposed the entry of the new carrier and has moved the Delhi High Court, seeking quashing of approvals being granted to commence its air transport operation.
Teck said Tatas have their own business plans as far as the domestic operations of the proposed airline is concerned and at this stage the SIA on its part was “extending its expertise” to the venture.
The Tata-SIA Airline has submitted its application for the grant of Air Operator’s Permit (AOP or flying licence) in April to aviation regulator DGCA. The AOP would enable it to provide scheduled air transport services in the country.
After receiving the application, the DGCA had last month issued a public notice seeking objections, if any, to the grant of flying permit to Tata-SIA.
The airline, which would use A 320-200 aircraft and A320 -200 (Neo), proposes to start operations by September and plans to operate from Delhi as its hub to Mumbai, Goa, Patna, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Hyderabad and Bangalore in its first year of operations.
Initially, the carrier plans to operate two flights a day to Mumbai, with one of them going further to Goa. The initial phase would also see two flights a day each to Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.
Besides the major metros, the proposed airline would also connect Srinagar, Patna, Chandigarh and Jammu. Under its aggressive expansion plans, the Tata-SIA Airlines proposes to add destinations like Chennai, Pune, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Indore and Cochin within the first four years of operations.
Tata-SIA has also disclosed its four-year operational plan to the government. In the first year of operations, it will mount 87 flights a week to 11 destinations. This will be gradually scaled up to 301 flights and 21 destinations in the fourth year of operations.
In its filing before the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the airline said it would initially engage in domestic and eventually launch international air services, apart from doing cargo handling, renting and leasing (except financial leasing) of aircraft and other services incidental to air transport services.