Friday, October 14, 2022

SIA in talks over potential Vistara, Air India merger

Singapore Airlines has confirmed that it is in talks with India’s Tata Group over a potential merger of Vistara airline and the troubled national carrier Air India.

The confirmation comes amid Indian media reports that Tata, having completed its acquisition of a 100 per cent stake of Air India, was looking at merging it with Vistara.

Tata has a 51 per cent stake in Vistara, while SIA holds 49 per cent.

“The discussions seek to deepen the existing partnership between SIA and Tata, and may include a potential integration of Vistara and Air India,” SIA said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange.

“The discussions are ongoing and no definitive terms have been agreed upon between the parties.”

It is unclear what stake, if any, SIA would have if Vistara merges into Air India, or whether fresh funds would be needed for the ailing Air India group.

The SIA statement noted that any deal would need the green light from Singapore’s competition watchdog and the authorities in India.

Vistara was established in 2013, giving the SIA group a stake in India’s fast-growing aviation sector.

India has strong domestic and international traffic flows, which are tipped to more than double over the next 10 years.

The International Air Transport Association has noted that India will become the third largest aviation market in the world – including international and domestic traffic – by around 2024.

14/10/22 Ven Sreenivasan/The Straits Times/ANN

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