Tata welcomes Air India back into the fold
Soon after the government announced the winning bidder for Air India, Tata group patriarch, Ratan Tata, welcomed the return of the airline to the Tata fold and said the group’s winning bid is great news.
“While admittedly it will take considerable effort to rebuild Air India, it will hopefully provide a very strong market opportunity to the Tata group's presence in the aviation industry,” Tata said in a statement.
On an emotional note, Tata said, Air India under the leadership of his predecessor, JRD Tata had, at one time, gained the reputation of being one of the most prestigious airlines in the world. “The Tatas will have the opportunity of regaining the image and reputation it enjoyed in earlier years. JRD Tata would have been overjoyed if he was in our midst today.”
“We need to recognise and thank the government for its recent policy of opening select industries to the private sector,” Tata, who is the chairman of Tata Trusts, said. Tata trusts holds 66 per cent in Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group.
Chairman of Tata Sons, N. Chandrasekaran, who is credited with several big-ticket acquisitions in the last four and a half years, including Bhushan Steel and grocery delivery firm Big Basket, said the acquisition was a “historic moment” and the group was delighted to be declared as the winner of the bid for Air India.
There were no celebrations at Bombay House, the headquarters of Tata group, as employees stayed away due to Covid restrictions. But the mood was upbeat with Air India coming back to the group after a gap of 68 years, said an insider.
In a statement, Tata Sons said the group would get ownership of iconic brands such as Air India, Indian Airlines, and the Maharajah. Air India has a fleet of 117 wide-body and narrow body aircrafts and Air India Express has a fleet of 24 narrow body aircrafts. A significant number of these aircrafts are owned by Air India. Air India provides a unique and attractive international footprint.