Tata Group has officially announced the merger of Air India and Vistara by March 2024. Once the merger process is complete, Tata Group will have 97.9 percent stakes in the AI-Vistara-AI Express-AirAsia India Pvt Ltd (AAIPL) combined entity. SIA has committed to an investment of $250 million as soon as this integration takes place.
Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran 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."
SIA has further stated that it is willing to fund this investment with internal cash resources, which stand at Singapore $17.5 billion as of September 30, 2022. Both Tata and SIA have agreed to inject additional capital to steer the operations of the newly formed alliance in FY2022-23 and FY2023-24.
SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong 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.
Presently, Air India (comprising of Air India Express and Air Asia India) and Vistara have a total fleet capacity of 218 aircraft which includes both widebody and narrowbody planes. These airlines currently offer service to 38 international and 52 domestic destinations. After the merger process, Air India will become the only Indian airline to offer low-cost passenger services and full-service.
Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said: “We, at Vistara, take immense pride in embarking on this journey. Vistara is a fine manifestation of its parent brands Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, and we are delighted that we will continue to be guided by their legacies as we merge with Air India. Vistara, within a short span of almost eight years, has created a unique space for itself, setting new standards in the Indian aviation market and earning extensive goodwill from millions of customers around the world. Air India is a legendary brand with a rich legacy that pioneered civil aviation in India. There is enormous potential for an airline group with the scale and network of the combined entity."
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