Tata is home to Air India after 68 years: Tata Sons wins bid to acquire the national airline
Mumbai – Tata Sons have emerged as the winner of the bidding to acquire India’s national carrier Air India. 68 years after the conglomerate handed over the airline founded by JRD Tata to the Government of India, Air India is back home. The company had placed a bid of Rs 18,000 crore to re-acquire the airline and won it. The winning bid includes a 100 percent stake in Air India, its division Air India Express, and a 50 percent stake in ground operations company Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).
The result of the bidding process revealing Tata Sons as the winner was announced by Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). In early September, Tata Sons had placed bid to acquire the struggling national carrier, up against SpiceJet led by its Chairman Ajay Singh.
This was after the Government of India had invited expressions of interest in January 2020, for the divestment of Air India. Tata Sons and SpiceJet were the last two standing after the bid race was entered by a total of four bidders. Air India was under losses amounting to over Rs 70,000 crore and government losses to approximately Rs 20 crore per day.
This round of divesting Air India was the second attempt by the Modi government after the expression of interest for selling 76 percent stake did not receive any bidders.
The airline’s divestment will give Tata Sons control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, and 900 slots at airports overseas. Currently, Tata Group operates AirAsia in partnership with Malaysia’s AirAsia and Vistara in collaboration with Singapore Airlines.
Air India was founded by JRD Tata of Tata Sons in 1932 when it was known as Tata Air Services. In 1953 the airline was taken over by the government. In 1960 Air India became the first Asian airline to include jet aircraft in its fleet and began operating to New York.