8 Questions With : Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer of Tata SIA Airlines Ltd-run Vistara
Updated on: 23 Jun 2016
Vistara, the full service airline jointly owned by Tata Sons Ltd and Singapore International Airlines, is not rushing to start international operations and will not go for a mega expansion spree that can cause indigestion.
Last week, the civil aviation ministry removed the stipulation that airlines must operate in India for at least five years before venturing abroad, while retaining the rule that they need a minimum of 20 aircrafts before starting overseas flights. Vistara, which started in January 2015, was lobbying for the scrapping of the five-year rule.
Phee Teik Yeoh, chief executive officer of Tata SIA Airlines Ltd-run Vistara, which still has only 11 planes, said in an interview to Mint that international operations can take 12-24 months to launch based on many variables and that fresh capital injection will be required for the proposed operations.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
When do you expect to start international operations?
Indicatively, it takes 12-24 months for launching our international operations, based on many variables. We are also evaluating whether there is any business case for advancing the induction of aircraft, including the 21st aircraft, in the context of launching international operations. Originally, we were supposed to induct our 20th aircraft by June 2018.
We are currently evaluating two scenarios: how soon can we induct our 21st aircraft and how much time we need to enhance our product and service delivery for launching international operations. We are in the process of outlining our domestic growth and international plans.
We will finalise the same in a couple of weeks. We have always said that abolishing the 5/20 rule is just a matter of time. Since clarity has been provided, we will bring up the plan that we have worked on previously. We are going to refine the plan. We will approach our promoters with a 10-year growth plan.
Are you open to buying any airline? May be Air India Ltd for unutilised flying rights?