Tata-SIA joint venture Vistara and Japan Airlines Friday announced a codeshare pact from February 28, making it the fourth such tie-ups for the youngest full-service domestic carrier.
Vistara already has similar tie-ups with British Airways, Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary and SilkAir.
Vistara and the Japanese flag carrier already have an interline/through check-in partnership and the two airlines had signed an initial agreement in September, 2017 to pursue commercial opportunities together, Vistara said in a statement Friday.
Code-sharing allows partner airlines to provide seamless connectivity to their passengers through each others’ network, while an interline arrangement refers to a pact to issue and accept tickets for flights that are operated by the partner airline and with national polls just a couple of months away, an approval is unlikely to come by anytime soon.
Vistara, which is 51 percent owned by the Tatas and the remaining by SIA, currently operates over 800 flights a week to 22 domestic destinations with a fleet of 22 Airbus A320s/A320 Neos.
Its plan to fly international is reportedly stuck in the files at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, which houses the civil aviation ministry in the national Capital.
As part of the agreement, the Japanese flag carrier will add its flights code ‘JL’ to as many as 32 Vistara flights operating across Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune, Vistara said.
Vistara is headquartered in the Capital and has its main hub there, while JAL connects Tokyo with New Delhi. The code share flights will offer convenient connections to and from a daily flight that Japan Airlines already operates to New Delhi directly from Tokyo’s Narita airport, it said.
“We’re delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Japan Airlines with this code-share agreement. This partnership helps us offer greater convenience and variety of choice to customers with a comprehensive network,” Sanjiv Kapoor, chief strategy and commercial officer,Vistara, said.
“The number of passengers travelling between Japan and India has increased over time. By strengthening the partnership with Vistara, we will be able to provide better network access for our mutual customers. And, we look to further cooperate with Vistara to open up additional opportunities for both airlines,” said Hideki Oshima, chief executive of Japan Airlines.
A member of the international airline grouping OneWorld, JAL has a fleet of 233 aircraft operating across 349 airports.