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Air India comes back home to Tatas - after seven decades

After sucking the poor people's blood for over 70 years, the fat Air India has returned to its ancestral hangar. The Tatas have won the privatisation bid!

NEW DELHI, Oct 8: The State-run Air India airline, neck-deep in debt, debts incurred to provide for the luxury of its overstaffed employees, has been sold back to the Tata Sons, the original owners from whom it was seized by an overenthusiastic breed of the first-Indian ruling clique in the name of nationalisation for the sake of the poor, who have grown into a staggering number of 80 crores vulnerable for free food from the State today to keep the wolf from the door, and death.

Tata Sons got the bid for Rs 18,000 cr, Rs 2,900 cr more than what a consortium led by Spice Jet's Ajay Singh could offer. The reserve price was Rs 12,906 cr. The airline had incurred a debt of Rs 60,000 cr and the everyday loss was Rs 20 cr. The Tatas will take the burden of debt. However, the airline's assets like buildings and land will go to the Government in the deal. These are estimated at Rs 14,718 cr. The holding comapany AIAHL will handle these.

Tata is acquiring the entire company including wholly-owned subsidiary Air India Express, and 50% stake in Air India SATS. The employees will be given voluntary retirement.

Consequent to the acquisition, the Tatas will own a 100% stake in Air India (a full-service airline operating in domestic and international markets) as also 100% in its subsidiary Air India Express (a low-cost carrier airline that focusses on short-haul international operations especially in the Middle East market) and 50% in the joint venture Air India SATS (airport services on ground and cargo handling). The total permanent and contractual employee strength of Air India & AIXL is 13,500, the company said. N Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons Pvt Ltd, said, “At the Tata group, we are delighted to be declared as the winner of the bid for AIR INDIA. This is a historic moment, and it will be a rare privilege for our group to own and operate the country’s flag bearer airline. It will be our endeavour to build a world-class airline that makes every Indian proud. On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to JRD Tata, pioneer of Indian aviation, whose memory we cherish.”

The Tatas will get ownership of iconic brands like Air India, Indian Airlines & the Maharajah. Air India has a fleet of 117 wide-body and narrow-body aircraft and AIXL has a fleet of 24 narrow-body aircraft. A significant number of these aircraft are owned by Air India.

Air India provides a unique and attractive international footprint. More than 2/3rd of Air India’s consolidated revenues come from the international market. It is the number one player from India in the international market having a strong footprint across geographies like North America, Europe, and the Middle East with attractive slots & bilateral rights. The Air India frequent flyer program has more than 3 million members.

About Talace Private Limited

Talace Pvt Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Pvt Ltd.

About the Tata group

Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising 30 companies across ten verticals. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long- term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.

Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation, and art and culture.

In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion (INR 7.7 trillion). These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of $242 billion (INR 17.8 trillion) as on March 31, 2021. Companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Titan, Tata Capital, Tata Power, Tata Advanced Systems, Indian Hotels and Tata Communications.

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