Singapore Airlines says it will consider applying for antitrust immunity with Vistara, as part of expanding the areas of cooperation between the two carriers.

In a statement to FlightGlobal, SIA adds that there are no concrete updates as yet.

An official at the company's India office was recently quoted in Indian media as saying that they and its joint venture unit are "in (the) initial stages" of working out an antitrust immunity pact for the latter's impending international operations.

Should it come to fruition, such an agreement would allow both SIA and Vistara access to each other's ticket booking systems, and enable them to build connections and align networks.

"We already have co-operation with Vistara in many areas including codesharing and frequent flyer programme ties. We naturally are working on more potential areas of co-operation, and should it be necessary we will consider applying for antitrust immunity with the relevant authorities," says SIA.

SIA had previously said that Vistara plans to launch international operations in the second half of 2018 - three months earlier than its previous forecast.

Vistara is also scheduled to receive its 20th aircraft by the end of the current financial year, which ends on 31 March. The carrier will then receive two more aircraft in mid-2018, which will be mainly put on international services.

Vistara has made its aspiration to fly overseas well known since its launch in 2015. The relaxation of the "5/20 rule" in 2016, which previously permitted Indian carriers to fly internationally only after having a five-year operating history and a fleet of 20 aircraft, will allow Vistara to start international flights earlier.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Vistara currently has 13 A320ceos and four A320neos, with another three of the re-engined variant on order.

Source: Cirium Dashboard