"Welcome Back, Air India": Tata Group Tweets After The Takeover

The Tata group, as part of the deal, will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS.

'Welcome Back, Air India': Tata Group Tweets After The Takeover

Tatas had set up Tata Airlines in 1932, which was later -- in 1946 -- renamed as Air India

New Delhi:

Air India officially returned to the Tata Group this afternoon, becoming the third airline brand in the company's stable.

Tatas also hold a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.

As part of the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS.

"Your arrival was much awaited," tweeted the Tata Group soon after the handover.  

Tatas had beat the Rs 15,100-crore offer by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in the loss-making carrier.

"We are excited to have Air India back in the Tata Group and are committed to making this a world-class airline. I warmly welcome all the employees of Air India to our Group, and look forward to working together," Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran said in a statement.

Currently, Air India controls over 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports as well as 900 slots abroad.

Of the airline's 141 aircraft that Tatas would get, 42 are leased planes while the remaining 99 are owned.

Tatas had set up Tata Airlines in 1932, which was later -- in 1946 -- renamed as Air India. The government had taken control of the airline in 1953, but JRD Tata continued to be its chairman till 1977.

Over the last decade, more than Rs 1.10 lakh crore was pumped by way of cash support and loan guarantees in the loss-making airline to keep it afloat.

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