Friday, January 28, 2022

This is how Air India flyers were welcomed onboard to celebrate airline's 'historic' return to Tata Group after seven decades

Air India formally returned to the Tata Group on Thursday after the company lost control of the wheels almost seven decades ago. For salt-to-software conglomerate, this will be the third airline - the Tatas already operate Vistara in a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, and AirAsia India in partnership with AirAsia Group.

In October 2021, the Tata Group won the bid for Air India through a competitive bidding war for Rs 18,000 crore including the cash component of Rs 2,700 crore. As per the deal, Tatas on Friday received immediate access from Air India to valuable flying rights and landing slots and also takeover of low-cost, short-haul international carrier Air India Express along with 50 per cent stake in a ground handling company with SATS Ltd.

On Friday, Air India took its first flight since after its official return to the Tata Group family and passengers were in for a sweet welcome.

To celebrate the historic day and the return, the pilots announced the official takeover in the welcome announcement made after the closure of the cabin.

The pilot's speech went like this: "Dear Guests, this is your Captain speaking... Welcome aboard this historic flight which marks a special event. Today, Air India officially becomes a part of the Tata Group again, after seven decades,"

Soon after the handover on Thursday, Air India took to Twitter to welcome the transition.

"A brand new chapter unfolds for Air India as part of the Tata Group. Two iconic names come together to embark on a voyage of excellence. Looking forward to soaring high propelled by our rich legacy & a shared mission to serve our Nation. Welcome Aboard. @TataCompanies," it said.

The Tata Group handle was also very excited to take Air India under its wing again.

"Your arrival was much awaited," tweeted the Tata Group, adding that the brand is "excited to take off with Air India."

"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," N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said in a statement after officially taking charge of Air India on Thursday.

28/01/22 Economic Times

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