Case Studies

SITA Helps Vistara Speed Up Communication

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane takes off while an Indian Airlines plane (R) carrying India's Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna arrivae at Chacklala airbase in Rawalpindi on July 14, 2010. Krishna arrived in Islamabad on July 14 for talks on how to resume a peace process between the bitter nuclear rivals, an official said. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi are scheduled to meet on Thursday in the first foreign minister-level talks since New Delhi suspended a four-year peace process after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. AFP PHOTO/AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian aviation market has immense growth potential and is expected to be one of the world’s largest within the next five years. Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines that started flying in January 2015, and is playing a key role in this expansion. Decision makers at Vistara realized early on that efficient communication and network technology are both essential for smooth operations and successful expansion in an industry marked by intense communication.

Only eleven months after launch, Vistara carried its one millionth passenger. It is currently operating more than 500 weekly frequencies to 18 destinations within India and plans to launch international flights during the next two years. Putting the right tools in place is essential for Vistara to leverage this growth opportunity. 

As a start-up, Vistara wanted to avoid unnecessary IT costs such as hardware, licensing and leased lines as well as service disruptions – including during upgrades and new releases. A set of seamlessly integrated, cloud-based solutions was a primary requirement from a technology standpoint, so Vistara appointed SITA and SITAONAIR for the joint implementation of aircraft communications, airline operations and network connectivity. The successful deployment, completed within a short span of 16 weeks, efficiently supports Vistara’s ambitious expansion plans.

With extensive, high-quality VHF coverage in India versus other providers, SITAONAIR was a clear choice for Vistara’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) needs. 

“Our technology and networks are designed to be cost-efficient, fully resilient, and easily deployable and scalable,” said Maneesh Jaikrishna, vice president-India and sub-continent of SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology.

“Our wide experience of providing solutions for the air transport community means we have been perfectly positioned to meet the challenges Vistara gave us, of meeting tough deadlines and delivering excellent technology that will serve the airline well into the future,” he added.

The airline uses SITA’s global IP network to connect its back offices, ticketing desks and check-in counters at airports across India with its passenger services system, based in Germany. The network handles both reservations and departure control services and it is specifically tailored to be scalable to support Vistara’s future expansion in India. Vistara also uses SITA’s Type B Messaging Service, the industry’s largest message distribution service, for critical air transport industry operational messages.

SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM Datalink services, FlightMessenger and FlightTracker are other solutions used by Vistara to manage air-to-ground communications for the flight crew, airline operations and air traffic controllers, and to track their aircraft. SITA OnAir’s VHF network, the largest in India, provides the connection between the aircraft and the ground.

With a dedicated team of specialists who understand Vistara’s aircraft configurations and specific datalink service requirements, SITA helped the airlines implement all critical services prior to the airline’s passenger operations launch.

This resulted in route planning that reduced operational costs, improved on-time performance (OTP) and facilitated safer and smoother flights – which not only increases passenger loyalty, but helps improve flight safety and turnaround times, reduce fuel costs and meet/maintain and exceed the latest mandated requirements.

“As a new airline we needed highly reliable service and consistent support. with its cloud services, sita minimizes disruptions and provides a service that we trust. This is one of the reasons we reposed our confidence in SITA from the very beginning,” said Captain Gopala Subramaniam, Chief Pilot, Vistara.

“We continue to collaborate with the team through various channels such as face-to-face meetings, on phone or via email, and maintain good relationships with them at all levels both locally and regionally,” he said. 

With plans to expand its fleet by 2018 and launch international destinations in the near future, Vistara is positioned well for expansion of its current systems to maximize the benefits of managing active flights. It also enables ground staff to continuously track aircraft through multiple media options and Vistara to plan safe and cost-effective routes, quickly compute and file flight plans to air traffic control.

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