Tata Sons suggested bringing low-fare airline “AirAsia” under the Air India umbrella.
It its bid for the state-owned carrier succeeds, then the tata groups can bring the airline under a single entity. In the big picture, full-service carrier Vistara is also likely to be part of a combined entity if Singapore Airlines (SIA), its 49% shareholder, comes on board.
Malaysia’s AirAsia bhd will exit by March 2022, selling its remaining stake for $18 million. It owns 16% of the shares of AirAsia India.
The Tata group approached Singapore Airlines about its plan to group their joint proposal Vistara under a single airline entity to ensure synergies and eliminate duplication.
AirAsia India and Vistara declined to comment. “We do not comment on any confidential discussions we may or may not be having with our partners,” said an SIA spokesperson. Tata Sons also didn’t comment.
Currently, Air India, AirAsia India and Vistara have a 26% share of the domestic air passenger market, according to the latest Directorate General of Civil Aviation figures.
Tata Sons owns close to 84 per cent of AirAsia India. According to the agreement, Tata has a call option on the remaining 16.33 per cent of AirAsia India. The alliance holds 51 per cent of Vistara and SIA has the rest. Tata has appointed Seabury Group and Bain Capital to conduct due diligence before it invests in Air India if the bid succeeds.