New Delhi: Tata Son's full-service airline Vistara on Friday commenced commercial operations, making it the eighth scheduled passenger carrier to operate in India.
The airline has become the third full-service carrier along with Jet Airways and Air India. Currently, India has seven scheduled airlines -- domestic market leader IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, Air India, AirAsia India and AirCosta.
Welcoming the new airline's operations, Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said the fast growing sector in India is projected to become the third largest aviation market globally by 2020.
"Though India is projected to be the third largest aviation market globally by 2020, and the sector opening up to allow 49 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) will attract many new players, the focus will be on safety and quality," Sharma said.
According to the airline, the inaugural flight took off from New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) and landed at Mumbai's GVK Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
The airline said the passengers in the fully laden Airbus A320-200 aircraft included a group of children aged between 7 and 12 years from the Salaam Baalak Trust.