The merger of Vistara — co-owned by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines — and Air India, which was announced in November 2022, is now taking shape. The employees of Vistara are already being integrated into Air India. This will give the merged entity —which will be called Air India —an edge over competition and also result in better services.
Vinod Kannan, CEO Vistara, reportedly revealed to the media that relevant clearances from regulatory authorities will be processed by April 2024. Singapore Airlines will have 25.1 per cent stake in the merged airline.
A team has been constituted at Vistara to look into the final structure of the merged entity. Of course, the Vistara brand will cease to exist. Discussions are also on with pilots and cabin crew. Vistara currently has over 60 aircraft in its fleet. The size of the fleet is expected to increase by the time the merger process is officially completed, that is, in about nine months from now.
After years of struggle, Air India was given a new lease of life when the Tatas took over the national carrier in 2022.
Earlier, there were reports that the proposed Air India-Vistara merger may face hurdles because the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had issued a show-cause notice to the Tata Group (owners of Air India) seeking valid reasons to not investigate the merger. Mint had reported that the Tata Group had received 30 days’ time to present a response to the fair-trade regulator and obtain a nod for the merger without a formal probe.