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Business News/ Companies / News/  Vistara-Air India merger gets CCI approval; check shareholding, other details
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Vistara-Air India merger gets CCI approval; check shareholding, other details

The regulator added that the acquisition of certain shareholding by Singapore Airlines in Air India subject to compliance of voluntary commitments offered by the parties.

A Vistara Airways plane takes off from the newly inaugurated fourth runway of Delhi Airport (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times)Premium
A Vistara Airways plane takes off from the newly inaugurated fourth runway of Delhi Airport (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

Air India-Vistara Merger: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the merger of Vistara-owner Tata Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) Airlines with Air India on Friday, September 1, according to a post by the antitrust body on social media platform X. The regulator added that the acquisition of certain shareholding by Singapore Airlines in Air India subject to compliance of voluntary commitments offered by the parties.

The Tata group had announced last November that as part of the merger, SIA will invest 2,059 crore in Air India. Post the consolidation, SIA will hold 25.1% shareholding in Air India. The deal is to be completed by March 2024.

Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran then said the merger is an important milestone in the group's "journey to make Air India a truly world-class airline." Air India is focusing on growing both its network and fleet, revamping its customer proposition, enhancing safety, reliability, and on-time performance, he said then.

CCI described Tata Sons as an investment holding company registered as a core investment company with the RBI and classified as a “systemically important non-deposit taking core investment company. Air India and its wholly owned arms Air India Express Ltd. and AIX Connect Pvt. Ltd. together offer domestic scheduled air passenger transport service, international scheduled air passenger transport service, air cargo transport service and charter flight services.

TSAL is a joint venture between the Tata Group and the Singapore Airlines with the former holding 51% and the latter 49%.

"The CCI approved the proposed combination subject to compliance of voluntary commitments offered by the parties," CCI said.

 

Vistara is a joint venture of Tata Sons and SIA. Tata Sons holds 51 per cent, and Singapore Airlines own 49 per cent. Air India is owned by Talace Private Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Tata Sons.

The potential merger may not only provide economies of scale to both Vistara and Air India but also open up access to dozens of new slots globally for Singapore Airlines on the one hand and help Tata Sons consolidate its aviation business balance sheets on the other. Air India and Vistara are expected to retain their individual brand identities post-merger, though eventually, only one brand may remain.

Singapore Airlines had said that India has strong domestic and international traffic flows, which are expected to more than double over the next 10 years.

“Shareholders and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing or trading in the securities of the company. The company will make the necessary announcements as appropriate or when there are any material developments regarding the potential transaction in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Listing Manual of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd," the airline said in a statement last year.

Currently, Tata group operates four airlines—Air India, Air India Express, AirAsia India, and Vistara. Tata Sons is working on an airline consolidation strategy to save costs, build synergies by optimizing aircraft utilization and routes, and gain a larger market share to take on IndiGo, India’s biggest airline, with a market share of 59 per cent. 

Earlier this month, Air India unveiled its new brand identity and aircraft livery as part of its rebranding, representing the airline's bold vision of its future. The airline's brand-new aircraft livery and design features a palette of deep red, aubergine, and gold highlights, as well as a chakra-inspired pattern. Travelers will also begin to see the new logo throughout their journey starting December 2023, when Air India’s first Airbus A350 enters the fleet in the new livery.

*With inputs by Gireesh Chandra Prasad

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Published: 01 Sep 2023, 07:39 PM IST
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