The Tata Group on Tuesday announced the consolidation of its airlines, Vistara and Air India. With this consolidation, Air India will be India’s leading domestic and international carrier with a combined fleet of 218 aircraft, making it India’s largest international carrier and second largest domestic carrier.
Air India, an airline fully owned by Tata Sons, has been the flag carrier of India. Tata Sons, via its fully owned subsidiary, Talace Private Limited (Talace), had acquired 100 per cent stake in Air India on January 27.
Vistara, a 51:49 Joint Venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines Limited (“SIA”) was established in 2013 and is India’s leading full-service carrier with international operations in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Vistara shall be merged with Air India post receipt of requisite approvals. As part of the merger transaction, SIA shall also invest Rs 2,059 crore in Air India. Post the consolidation, SIA shall hold 25.1 per cent shareholding in Air India.
The transaction is estimated to be completed by March 2024.
On this occasion, N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons said: “The merger of Vistara and Air India is an important milestone in our journey to make Air India a truly world-class airline. We are transforming Air India, with the aim of providing great customer experience, every time, for every customer. As part of the transformation, Air India is focusing on growing both its network and fleet, revamping its customer proposition, enhancing safety, reliability, and on-time performance.
“We are excited with the opportunity of creating a strong Air India which would offer both full-service and low-cost service across domestic and international routes. We would like to thank Singapore Airlines for their continued partnership.”
Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines, said: “Tata Sons is one of the most established and respected names in India. Our collaboration to set up Vistara in 2013 resulted in a market-leading full-service carrier, which has won many global accolades in a short time. With this merger, we have an opportunity to deepen our relationship with Tata and participate directly in an exciting new growth phase in India’s aviation market.
“We will work together to support Air India’s transformation program, unlock its significant potential, and restore it to its position as a leading airline on the global stage.”
After 69 years as a government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were welcomed back into the Tata group in January 2022. The present management at Air India is driving the five-year transformation roadmap under the aegis of Vihaan.AI to establish itself as a world-class global airline with an Indian heart.