DELHI- Tata-owned Air India (AI), having recently obtained clearance from the CCI (Competition Commission of India) for its merger with Vistara (UK), is now actively seeking approval from competition authorities in Singapore and various other jurisdictions for the proposed merger.
This information was shared by the airline’s CEO, Campbell Wilson.
Air India Legal Cases
As part of the Tata Group’s ongoing efforts to integrate four airlines into two, Air India is diligently addressing a substantial backlog of over 600 legal cases initiated by customers against the airline prior to its privatization. Notably, some of these legal cases date back more than 15 years.
The Tata Group acquired the financially troubled Air India and Air India Express from the Indian government in January of the previous year.
He emphasizes that this development marks a positive and significant stride towards the ultimate consolidation of the four Tata Group airlines into two distinct entities: one full-service and one low-cost.
However, he underscored that obtaining approval from competition regulators in several other jurisdictions. This includes Singapore, which is also essential for the merger’s completion.
Wilson further stated that the company is actively engaged in working towards securing these approvals from relevant authorities outside of India.
In the interim, he highlighted the ongoing planning efforts aimed at ensuring that the integration process enhances the overall strength of the future airline group. Further surpassing the individual strengths of its constituent parts.
On September 1st, the CCI granted its approval for the proposed merger of Air India and Vistara, subject to conditions. This merger is poised to position Air India as the nation’s largest international carrier and the second-largest domestic carrier.
Both Vistara and Air India are full-service airlines that fall under the umbrella of the Tata Group. However, Singapore Airlines holds a 49 percent stake in Vistara.
In November of the previous year, Tata Group disclosed plans for the merger of Vistara with Air India. This deal also involves Singapore Airlines (SQ) acquiring a 25.1 percent stake in Air India. This transaction represents a significant consolidation in India’s rapidly expanding aviation sector.
Wilson mentioned that teams from the customer experience and corporate legal departments have been diligently addressing a backlog of over 600 legal cases filed by customers against the former Air India. Some of these cases date back more than 15 years.
In recent months, they have successfully resolved approximately a quarter of these cases and continue to work steadily through the remainder.
In addition to the merger of these two full-service carriers into a single entity, Tata Group is also in the process of merging its domestic low-cost subsidiary, AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India), with its international budget airline, Air India Express.
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