An AirAsia aircraft. Photo: Reuters
An AirAsia aircraft. Photo: Reuters

The two Tata Group joint-venture airlines Vistara and AirAsia India are preparing to start international flights this year. While Vistara, formed after a tie-up with Singapore Airlines, will begin international flights in the second half, low-cost airline AirAsia India, a joint venture with Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, is likely to follow by the end of 2018, Business Standard reports.

The two airlines will try to take advantage of the strong markets of its parents Singapore Airlines and AirAsia. So Vistara will initially start with Singapore and destinations in West Asia, while AirAsia India will feed into hubs such as Kuala Lumpur.

This is nearly two years after the Indian government relaxed the 5/20 rule to make it easier for the country’s airlines to fly abroad. Under that rule, an airline should have five years of domestic operations and 20 aircraft to fly abroad. While the condition of 20 aircraft stayed, the requirement of five years of domestic operations was waived.

Vistara, which started operations in 2015, plans to start operations to short-haul international destinations from Delhi and then scale up to middle-haul destinations.

AirAsia India, which commenced operations in 2014, will try to feed into the extensive international network of the AirAsia group beginning with daily services to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok from Bangalore and Kolkata.