The Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture, Vistaa, has entered in to a code-share agreement with the island nation’s flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the latter’s regional subsidiary SilkAir.
Under the agreement, Singapore Airlines will place its ‘SQ’ airline designator code on to Vistara-operated flights beyond Mumbai and New Delhi to 10 destinations within India. Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kochi, Kolkata and Port Blair.
SilkAir will place its ‘MI’ airline designator code to Vistara-operated flights beyond Bengaluru and Kolkata to six destinations within India. Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi and Port Blair.
With this agreement, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir group add four new destinations to their India network. Bhubaneswar, Goa, Guwahati and Port Blair. The two airlines currently serve 15 destinations in India from their hub Singapore.
With Vistara not operating a non-stop flight from Bengaluru to Mumbai, one cannot see any passenger from Singapore flying to Bengaluru, then connecting to New Delhi and then flying back down to Mumbai.
Members of SIA’s and Vistara’s frequent flyer programmes, KrisFlyer and Club Vistara, will also enjoy additional tier benefits as a result of the new codeshare partnership. PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members will enjoy lounge access, increased baggage allowance, and priority baggage handling, check-in and boarding when travelling on Vistara-operated flights. Likewise, Club Vistara Platinum and Gold members will enjoy the same benefits when travelling on SIA-operated flights. PPS Club and KrisFlyer members will also earn Elite miles when travelling on SIA codeshare flights operated by Vistara.
The enhancement in membership benefits is over and above existing benefits, which enable members of both frequent flyer programmes to earn miles when travelling on SIA and Vistara operated flights. KrisFlyer members can also redeem their miles for Vistara flights, and vice versa.
Members of other Star Alliance frequent flier programmes will not earn miles, nor enjoy elite status privileges when flying on either SilkAir or Vistara operated flights.
Even though this agreement is with “cousins” (Singapore Airlines is a joint-venture partner in Vistara and SilkAir is its subsidiary), this is Vistara’s first agreement with another airline group, and Singapore Airlines’ and SilkAir’s first agreement with an India-based domestic carrier. Singapore Airlines used to have a code-share agreement with national carrier Air India, but it is not known whether that agreement is operated. Both the national carriers are part of the Star Alliance grouping of airlines.