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Tata Group to consolidate Air India and Vistara


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.

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AI flight with 145 evacuees from London lands in Vijayawada


An Air India flight with 145 evacuees from London landed at Vijayawada Airport on Wednesday.

The flight, which took off from London with 333 passengers, reached Vijayawada via Kochi.

This was the first flight to land at this airport since the beginning of the lockdown in March.

Officials said after the medical screening and the immigration formalities, the passengers were transported to the designated locations for a 14-day quarantine.

Authorities had made elaborate arrangements at the international terminal to handle the passengers as per the Covid-19 protocol.

This was the third flight to land in Andhra Pradesh under the Vande Bharat Mission, the biggest ever evacuation of the Indian citizens stranded in various countries due to Covid-19 lockdown.

Two flights with evacuees from the Philippines and the UAE landed at Visakhapatnam Airport on Tuesday night.

The flight from Manila landed at 9.50 p.m. with 166 passengers. Earlier, a flight from Abu Dhabi with 148 evacuees arrived at 8.30 p.m.

Officials said that none of the passengers were found symptomatic. All were sent to quarantine facilities as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Passengers, who did not opt for paid quarantine facilities, were sent to government-run centres.

Another evacuation flight from Jeddah is scheduled to land in Vijayawada Wednesday evening.

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AI flight from Kuwait with 163 evacuees lands in Hyderabad


An Air India flight from Kuwait with 163 passengers on board landed at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Saturday night.

Air India flight AI 988 from Kuwait landed at 10.07 p.m., airport sources told IANS.

The flight is a part of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, the biggest-ever evacuation of Indian citizens stranded in various countries due to Covid-19 lockdown.

This is the first of the seven evacuation flights scheduled to land at the Hyderabad Airport over the next few days.

A Telangana government official had earlier said that a total of 2,350 stranded Indians from six countries will be reaching Hyderabad by seven flights.

Under the Vande Bharat Mission, which began on May 7, the government of India is operating 64 flights till May 13 to bring home nearly 14,800 Indian nationals stranded abroad.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Adani Group considers bidding for Air India: Sources


With the government pushing for the disinvestment of Air India, industrial conglomerate Adani Group may emerge as one of the bidders for the debt-laden national carrier, sources said.

According to highly placed sources group has held internal rounds of deliberations on whether or not to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) and that the discussions are still in the preliminary stage.

If the company actually submits an EoI, it would be a major move towards further diversification of the company which has business interests across sectors right from edible oil, food to mining and minerals.

It also entered into airport operations and maintenance business and won bids for privatisation of six airports, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvanathapuram and Mangaluru in 2019.

On being contacted by IANS, the company did not comment on the matter.

Air India is one of the most important divestment target for the current fiscal to reach the huge Rs 2.1 lakh crore target.

The government in January restarted the divestment process of the airline and invited bids for selling 100 per cent of its equity in the state-owned airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd. and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

After its unsuccessful bid to sell Air India in 2018, the government this time has decided to offload its entire stake. In 2018, it had offered to sell its 76 per cent stake in the airline.

Of the total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of March 31, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286 crore.

Air India, along with its subsidiary Air India Express, has a total operational fleet of 146 airplanes.

Further, the disinvestment department has extended the last date for submission of written queries on the Performance Information Memorandum and Share Purchase Agreement to March 6.

The last date for submission of written queries on PIM and SPA was originally set for February 11, following which the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on February 21 issued 20 clarifications on the queries raised and expected.

Any delay in the tentatively rolled out timeline would also delay the DIPAM’s plan to identify the pre-qualified bidders by March 31 and the financial bids invitation as well. It is expected to take more than 2 months after the selection of the pre-qualified bidders to complete Air India’s sale.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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