Vistara joins the retro livery craze

Picture: Vistara

Picture: Vistara

It may have been one the latest airlines to launch services in India.

Yet, Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, can claim a truly distinguished heritage through its link to one of India's mightiest conglomerates, that traces its roots back to 1868.

One of the scions of the Tata family, J.R.D. Tata founded Tata Air Services in 1932, the kernel of what later became Air India (today one of Vistara's competitors).

Vistara is, of course, a much more recent creation, but this is not a obstacle for the airline remembering this aeronautical heritage, together with 150 years of Tata Sons, with a special retro livery.

The design, inspired by Tata Air Services 1940s livery, has been applied on the airline's newest Airbus A320neo (the 22nd aircraft in its fleet), that bears the registration VT-ATV (that corresponds also to that of a Tata Air Services DC-3 of that era).

To make the experience all-encompassing, cabin crew will also wear 1950s vintage-style uniforms, also designed for the occasion, and a selection of JRD Tata's favourite dishes is going to be served onboard: cheddar cheese and onion omelette, crêpe au champignon, meat medley, Waldorf salad, minestrone soup, herb roast chicken, Goan prawn Curry and crème Caramel (note the French touch...after all J.R.D. Tata was born and lived many years of his life in France!)

Picture: Vistara

Picture: Vistara

(On a separate note, and special liveries aside, Vistara's recent order for 6 Boeing 787-9 aircraft is an interesting development, as it signals the intention to grow beyond the domestic Indian market where the airline had so far been focusing its activities).

Vistara is, thus, the latest to join a sort of global craze for retro liveries. Perhaps this is driven by an attempt to relate to a perceived Golden Era of aviation (but was there really a Golden Era of aviation?).

A few weeks ago it was El Al that unveiled its own retro livery, while Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and Aeroflot also have its own.

One of the most remarkable retro experiences was that of designed by TAP Air Portugal. Last year we had the chance to be onboard TAP's Airbus A330 retrojet, that gave us a glimpse of the 1970s luxury flying experience on a flight from Lisbon to Toronto.

Even JetBlue could not resist and created its own "fake" retro livery...even if the airline was only founded in 1998!