Vistara, AirAsia India, and Air India Express could all be under the Air India brand in less than a week according to reports.
The Tata Group is considering a plan for integrating its 4 airline brands under Air India ., people with knowledge of the matter told, as the sprawling company prepares to rebuild its faltering aviation empire.
India’s biggest conglomerate is also considering scrapping the Vistara brand, which is Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s local affiliate in the South Asian nation, the people stated, declining to be identified because the discussions are private. Singapore Airlines is evaluating the size of the stake it should take in the combined entity, one of the journalists told.
Representatives for the Tata Group, Air India, and Vistara didn’t answer requests for comment. Singapore Airlines said in a report that “discussions are ongoing between Singapore Airlines and Tata Group” and that it had nothing further to add beyond an Oct. 13 exchange filing, which said the talks “seek to deepen the existing partnership between Singapore Airlines and Tata Group, and may include a potential integration of Vistara and Air India.”
Air India Chief Executive Campbell Wilson said
Air India is gearing up for a revamp under its new owner Tata Group. The full-service carrier is considering ordering as many as 300 narrow-body jets, a transaction that would be one of the largest orders ever in commercial aviation history. Air India Chief Executive Campbell Wilson last month stated the airline will triple its fleet of 113 aircraft over 5 years, with “significant” growth in both narrow and wide-body aircraft.
Air India is also in discussions to increase at least $1 billion in a funding round that could value the carrier at around $5 billion, other people familiar with the matter told in late September. The airline is preparing to add twenty-five Airbus SE and 5 Boeing Co. aircraft from lessors, beginning in December.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The transaction marked the country’s most high-profile privatization under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ending decades of attempts to offload the money-losing, debt-laden carrier that survived on years of taxpayer bailouts.
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It also meant Tata Group had 4 airline brands — Air India and another full-service carrier Vistara, along with budget carriers Air India Express Ltd. and AirAsia India.
Air India earlier this month stated it is acquiring AirAsia’s local experience and merging it with Air India Express into a single low-cost carrier. That consolidation will likely happen by the end Dec 2023.