Thursday, June 22, 2017

Three Reasons Why Tata May Buy Air India Stake With Singapore Airlines

The Tata group, which founded India’s first commercial airline, Air India, which was later nationalised, is considering buying a stake in the debt-laden national carrier in partnership with Singapore Airlines, a person familiar with the matter said.

“It’s a possibility,” the person said, requesting anonymity. “You sign the cheque and from the very next day imagine the clout you have in the subcontinent, deep into Europe and the United States.”

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on 1 June that he favoured selling the loss-making Air India, although a formal decision on the sale has not been taken. Jaitley added that he had asked the aviation ministry to look at possible ways of privatising Air India.

Spokespersons for the Tata group and Singapore Airlines declined to comment.

A second person familiar with the thinking in Bombay House, the corporate headquarters of the Tata group, claimed that the conglomerate’s former chairman Ratan Tata and current chairman N Chandrasekaran have informally (and separately) discussed their interest in Air India with various government officials. Mint couldn’t independently verify this.
22/06/17 Tarun Shukla/Swarajya