Tata Group most likely to acquire Air India; may acquire 15 percent of carrier’s debt as part of the successful bid
Media reports have stated the Tata Group, a salt-to-software conglomerate, as the victorious bidder for the beleaguered Air India, the country’s national carrier.
This is the second time the government has put Air India up for sale, the first being in 2018. The bidders this time were the Tata Group and Ajay Singh, promoter of Spicejet Ltd, a domestic airline.
Air India has been wrecked with losses for years and has a net debt of around Rs 60,000 crore. The government supposedly loses nearly Rs 20 crore every day to keep the airlines flying.
An official announcement from the government is awaited but as per moneycontrol.com, the Tata Group in its discussion with the government has said it will acquire up to 15 percent of Air India’s debt.
Once the dealer receives an official nod, it will be a sweet return for the Tata Group. J.R.D. Tata, former chairman of the group, founded the airline in 1932 as Tata Airlines and piloted its first flight, from Karachi to Mumbai (then Bombay). In 1938, the airline was rechristened Tata Airlines and in 1946, it became Air India after it went public.
Once India gained independence from the British Raj, the government of India, in 1948, acquired a 49 percent stake in Air India and in 1953, took complete control of the airlines from the Tatas. 68 years later, the airline returns to its founders.