Air India-Vistara Merge Under TATA, Singapore Airlines Mega Deal

Air India-Vistara Merge Under TATA, Singapore Airlines Mega Deal

DALLAS — It’s official: Vistara (UK) is set to merge with Air India (AI) Limited. The Tata Group and Singapore Airlines (SQ) have agreed on a deal that will see SQ investing an additional Rs20.59bn (US$250m), allowing it to hold a 25.1% stake in the combined carriers, as previously discussed.

Further investments from SQ and Tata will be made “if required” to help with the growth and operations of an enlarged AI.

Rumors of a merger between the two have been rife ever since Tata took control of AI in January 2022. Last month it was confirmed that discussions between the two were taking place. 

The entire process will run some length and is expected to be complete by March 2024.

Vistara Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways.

Comments from TATA, Singapore Airlines on the Deal

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, of Tata Sons, stated, “The merger of Vistara and Air India is an important milestone in our journey to make Air India a truly world-class airline. We are transforming Air India with the aim of providing a great customer experience, every time, for every customer.

The Chairman also said that as part of the transformation, AI was focusing on growing both “its network and fleet, revamping its customer proposition, and enhancing safety, reliability, and on-time performance.”

“We are excited about the opportunity of creating a strong Air India which would offer both full-service and low-cost service across domestic and international routes. We would like to thank Singapore Airlines for their continued partnership, ” added Chandrasekaran.

Meanwhile, Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, SQ, said, “Tata Sons is one of the most established and respected names in India. Our collaboration to set up Vistara in 2013 resulted in a market-leading full-service carrier, which has won many global accolades in a short time.

“With this merger, we have an opportunity to deepen our relationship with Tata and participate directly in an exciting new growth phase in India’s aviation market. We will work together to support Air India’s transformation programme, unlock its significant potential, and restore it to its position as a leading airline on the global stage.”

SQ will take a 25.1% share in the newly enlarged AI. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways.

Vistara Under Air India Group Umbrella

“We at Vistara take immense pride in embarking on this journey. Vistara is a fine manifestation of its parent brands Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, and we are delighted that we will continue to be guided by their legacies as we merge with Air India. Vistara, within a short span of almost eight years, has created a unique space for itself, setting new standards in the Indian aviation market and earning extensive goodwill from millions of customers around the world,” Vinod Kannan, CEO of Vistara, said.

“Air India is a legendary brand with a rich legacy that pioneered civil aviation in India. There is enormous potential for an airline group with the scale and network of the combined entity. We look forward to providing more opportunities for our customers, employees, and partners while putting a spotlight on Indian aviation on the global stage.”

He added, “The integration process will take some time, and during this phase, it will be business as usual for all our stakeholders, including customers. We will continue to share relevant information with all of them, as appropriate.” 

Consolidation is gaining momentum in India’s airline industry, something that was bound to happen. With this new reorganization, AI will be the country’s leading domestic and international carrier with a combined fleet of 218 aircraft, serving 38 international and 52 domestic destinations.

This will make it India’s largest international carrier and second-largest domestic carrier after low-cost carrier IndiGo (6E).

Featured Image: Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo: Roberto Leiro/Airways.

Europe and Asia Correspondent
Commercial pilot | Flight Instructor | Aviation Journalist & writer.

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