Friday, September 23, 2022

Tatas likely to offer a stake to Singapore Airlines, for Air India – Vistara merger

Tata Sons, the controlling entity of Air India, Vistara and AirAsia India, is looking to merge the three carriers under a unified Air India banner. To make it work, the Tatas are likely to offer Singapore Airlines (SIA), its joint venture partner in Vistara, a stake in Air India.

The stake offer has been accepted “in-principal” by SIA, which holds a 49% share in Vistara parent Tata SIA Airlines, an ET report on September 23 quoted top executives as saying. Discussions are on between N Chandrasekaran, chairman of both the Tata Group and Air India, and SIA’s executives.

N Chandrasekaran, Tata Sons chairman, had earlier stated that the group’s airline businesses are operating on thin margins, and must be consolidated to ensure operational efficiencies and keep control of costs.

Tata Sons and SIA did not respond to queries, the report said. Sources, however, said while SIA could agree to the merge, any financial infusion into Air India was unlikely as the airline is focused on getting its business back on track.

Earlier this year, Singapore Airlines had asked the Tatas to wait for some time before taking any decisions about the merger. Both the Tatas and SIA have discussed such possibilities, and SIA had reportedly even agreed to join the Tata bid for Air India but, because of the pandemic, decided to back out.

23/09/22 Radhika Bansal/100Knots

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