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Tata-SIA joint venture to get licence to fly in July: Report

The audit process by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is in "its final stage" and the joint venture expects to get the air operators' permit next month, according to The Financial Express.

SINGAPORE: An air operators' permit (AOP) is expected to be issued to the Tata-Singapore Airlines (SIA) joint venture in July and commercial operations are likely to start in September, according to India’s Financial Express newspaper.

In a report on Friday, the Financial Express cited a company official who said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's audit process is now in "its final stage". With the last leg of approvals in place, the airline will announce its brand name early in August, and take flight in September, it said.

"We expect to get the AOP by July, and the planes (Airbus A320s) will start coming from August. In the first year of operations, we will have five aircraft, increasing it to 20 over the first four years," the official was quoted as saying.

Tata Sons has a 51 per cent stake in the joint venture, with SIA owning the rest. Company CEO Phee Teik Yeoh and commercial chief Toh Giam Ming, were both drafted from SIA to lead the joint venture, according to the report.

The likelihood of the joint venture getting off the ground appeared to be in doubt earlier this month, when a lobby group representing Indian carriers - the Federation of Indian Airlines - asked the Delhi's high court to quash the approval of the Tata-SIA collaboration. The court reportedly sought advice from the fledgling government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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