Friday, January 27, 2023

Tata Group announces continuation plans with Air India, calling achievements of last year as 'amazing'

As Air India completes its first year under the Tata Group, the airline's management has announced plans for the second year, which includs a "historic" order of new aircraft and investments to improve the product on its long-haul foreign flights.

The intentions were spelled out in a statement issued to staff by the airline's CEO and MD Campbell Wilson, who also called the achievements of the last year 'amazing'.

This is significant since the airline faced significant negative press following an incident in which a drunk man reportedly urinated on a female passenger on a New York-Delhi aircraft. The airline's CEO and chairman, N Chandrasekaran, who is also the chairman of the Tata Group, both spoke out publicly about the event.

Air India will invest $400 million (Rs 3,300 crore) to revamp its onboard product and place a record order of 500 aircraft as part of its aim to become a preferred airline in India and throughout the world.

Air India boosted its operating aircraft by 27% in the first year of its acquisition, resulting in a 30% rise in flight numbers, including a 63% increase in weekly foreign flights. The firm has also stated that it intends to finalise the merger of Air India Express with AirAsia India this year, and Vistara with Air India next year.

Tata Group took over the operations of debt-ridden Air India from the Central Government a year ago, on January 27, 2022, ushering in a new era for the carrier. Tata Group submitted a winning proposal of Rs 18,000 crore as the airline's enterprise value against a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore. The deal included a payment of Rs 2,700 crore as well as the retention of a debt of Rs 15,300 crore.

27/01/23 Economic Times

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