Competition Commission of India Approves Landmark Merger of Tata SIA Airlines (Vistara) and Air India

In a significant development, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given its stamp of approval to the merger between Tata SIA Airlines, known for its Vistara brand, and Air India, a subsidiary of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. This momentous merger, which also involves Singapore Airlines (SIA), encompasses the acquisition of shares in the merged entity, Air India, contingent upon specific voluntary commitments. Notably, Tata SIA Airlines Limited (TSAL) represents a joint venture between the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, with the Tata Group holding a majority stake of 51%, and Singapore Airlines owning the remaining 49%.

Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. made headlines in January 2022 when it acquired Air India through its subsidiary, Talace Pvt. Ltd. This strategic move marked Tata’s resurgence in the Indian aviation sector and laid the foundation for the forthcoming merger with Tata SIA Airlines, popularly known as Vistara, which is poised to create a formidable presence in the Indian aviation industry.

Back in November of the previous year, the Tata Group had unveiled its merger plans, announcing Singapore Airlines’ investment of ₹2,059 crore in Air India. Following the merger, SIA would hold a 25.1% stake in Air India. This capital infusion and collaboration are anticipated to revitalize Air India’s operations and aid in its quest to regain its status as a world-class airline.

Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. is registered as an investment holding company and is classified as a “systemically important non-deposit taking core investment company” by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This designation underscores Tata Sons’ substantial influence and stability within India’s financial landscape.

Air India, along with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Air India Express Ltd. and AIX Connect Pvt. Ltd., offers a comprehensive range of aviation services, including domestic and international scheduled passenger transport, air cargo transport, and charter flight services. The merger with Vistara and the investment by SIA are poised to reshape and enhance Air India’s capabilities and competitiveness.

With the CCI’s approval, the merger between Tata SIA Airlines (Vistara) and Air India is set to redefine the Indian aviation industry. This strategic alliance between two renowned industry giants, Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, promises passengers improved services, expanded routes, and enhanced travel experiences.

The completion of this merger is expected by March 2024. Until then, industry observers and passengers alike eagerly await the transformation of Air India into a formidable player in the global aviation arena.

Chairman of Tata Sons: N. Chandrasekaran