Maharaja of the Indian sky heads home to Tata

With the Maharaja returning home to the Tatas, there is hope for the debt-ridden national carrier. The Tatas have a huge task ahead: of living up to the legacy; both its own and that of Air India.

 |  2-minute read |   08-10-2021
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Air India is all set to return to its original owners, the Tata Group. Tata Sons has won the final bid for acquiring the national carrier. With the addition of Air India under its wing, the Tata Group now holds control over all of India's full service carriers (the other being Vistara, a Tata joint venture with Singapore Airlines). 

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A MESSAGE FROM RATAN TATA: “On an emotional note, Air India, under the leadership of Mr JRD Tata had, at one time, gained the reputation of being one of the most prestigious airlines in the world. Tatas will have the opportunity of regaining the image and reputation it enjoyed in earlier years. Mr JRD Tata would have been overjoyed if he was in our midst today..." 

JRD Tata, when asked in a TV interview in 1989 whether it was a wrenching and anguishing experience for him to relinquish control of Air India, the philanthropist and aviation pioneer responded with, "Yes, of course." 

THE FINANCIALS: 

   1. Tatas' winning bid amount: Rs 18,000 crore

   2. The government will receive Rs 2,700 crore in cash from Tatas for the sale of 100 per cent of Air India's stake.

   3. The amount of debt being taken over by the Tatas: Rs 15,300 crore

The Tatas' winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore for Air India was higher than the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government.

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Originally known as Tata Airlines, Air India was established by legendary philanthropist and industrialist JRD Tata in 1932. The airline was nationalised in 1953. With its new acquisition, the Tata Group has now added a third airline under its wing. They own a majority interest in Vistara and AirAsia India, joint ventures with Singapore Airline Ltd and AirAsia Investment Ltd respectively. 

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THE O: With the Maharaja returning home to the Tatas, there is hope for the debt-ridden national carrier. The Tatas have a huge task ahead: of living up to the legacy; both its own and that of Air India.

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