With AirAsia India getting closer to getting international flying rights, the Tata Sons group will have four airlines with permits for overseas operations in the near future. Currently, Vistara operates on international routes.

The development assumes significance as Tata Sons subsidiary Tales is expected to acquire Air India and Air India Express soon after concluding the share purchase agreement (SPA) with the Centre.

Air India and Air India Express both operate international flights. Industry insiders said that recently, AirAsia India, in which Tata has a majority stake, has received security clearance to operate international flights.

Nevertheless, several processes with the country's civil aviation ministry and regulator are still to be completed before the airline resumes international operations.

These processes include scheduling, slotting and obtaining permission for training. According to industry insiders, these steps may take up to 2-6 months to complete.

However, he pointed out that even after obtaining all permissions, the airline cannot fly abroad in the near future due to the ongoing pandemic.

The Bengaluru-headquartered airline is a joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia Investment Limited.

Commencing operations on 12 June 2014, it flies over 240 direct and connecting routes across India with a fleet of 28 aircraft. On the acquisition of Air India, the Center is expected to enter into an SPA with Tales by the end of December.

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