Air India handed over to Tata Group
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 27, Jan 2022, 19:08 pm IST | UPDATED: 27, Jan 2022, 19:08 pm IST
The Indian government handed over Air India to the Tata Group on January 27, nearly 69 years after it was taken from the conglomerate. The transaction covers three entities – Air India, Air India Express and AI SATS. Air India is India's flag carrier and premier full-service airline. Air India Express is a low-cost carrier. AI SATS provides a comprehensive suite of ground handling and cargo handling services.
On this occasion, Mr. N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. said – “We are excited to have Air India back in the Tata Group and are committed to making this a world-class airline. I warmly welcome all the employees of Air India, to our Group, and look forward to working together.” Mr. Ratan N. Tata joined Mr. N Chandrasekaran in expressing his thankful recognition to the Government of India and its various departments for the successful completion of this important transaction.
Three days after Air India's sale was announced on October 8 last year, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued to the Tata Group confirming the government's willingness to sell its 100 percent stake in the airline. On October 25, the Centre signed the share purchase agreement (SPA) for this deal.
As a part of the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 percent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS. Tatas had on October 8 beat the Rs 15,100-crore offer by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 percent stake in the loss-making carrier.
While this will be the Centre's first privatization since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline brand in the Tatas' stable as it holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.
The airline, along with AIXL, is primarily engaged in the business of providing domestic and international scheduled air passenger transport service, along with air cargo transport service.
Air India SATS Airport Services is engaged in the business of providing ground handling services at Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram airports, and cargo handling services at Bengaluru airport.