NEW DELHI: Singapore Airlines on Tuesday said Vistara will be merged with Tata group-owned Air India.
Tata group owns a 51 per cent stake in Vistara, and the remaining 49 per cent shareholding is with Singapore Airlines (SIA). As part of the transaction, SIA will also invest Rs 2,058.5 crore in Air India.
"This would give SIA a 25.1 per cent stake in an enlarged Air India group with a significant presence in all key market segments. SIA and Tata aim to complete the merger by March 2024, subject to regulatory approvals," SIA said in a release.
With this consolidation, Air India will be India's leading domestic and international carrier with a combined fleet of 218 aircraft, making it India's largest international carrier and second-largest domestic carrier.
"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 great customer experience, every time, for every customer," said N. Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons.
"As part of the transformation, Air India is focusing on growing both its network and fleet, revamping its customer proposition, enhancing safety, reliability, and on-time performance," he said.
"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," Chandrasekaran added.
Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines, 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 program, unlock its significant potential, and restore it to its position as a leading airline on the global stage."
After 69 years as a government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were welcomed back into the Tata group in January 2022. The present management at Air India is driving the five-year transformation roadmap under the aegis of Vihaan.AI to establish itself as a world-class global airline with an Indian heart.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)