MUMBAI, 12 October 2021: Air India returns home to its founder, Tata Sons, after the privately-owned industrial conglomerate successfully bid USD2.4 billion, including taking on USD2 billion of the airline’s USD8.2 billion debt.
The Indian government confirmed the sale last Friday. Taxpayers have paid an average of close to USD3 million a day for the past decade to keep Air India flying.
According to the announcement, Tata takes the entire 100% stake in Air India, a deal that should be finalised by the end of the year.
Tata operates two airlines – Vistara, India’s only other full-service carrier, in a venture with Singapore Airlines and budget airline AirAsia India, in partnership with Malaysia’s AirAsia Group.
Tata Sons chairman, Ratan Tata, tweeted at the weekend, “Welcome back, Air India.” He reminisced about the good old days when the group formed Tata Airlines in 1932 before it was eventually nationalised under the Nehru government in 1953.