Maharaja returns home as the Tata Group officially takes over Air India after 69 years

A fresh, new chapter unfolds for Air India, the national carrier of India, as the Tata Group officially completes the take over of the airline.

It was back in 1932 when the Tata Group had set up Tata Air Services. Later renamed as Air India in 1946, the government had taken control of the airline in 1953. Today, after almost seven decades, the Indian multinational conglomerate has officially taken over Air India after buying 100 per cent stakes from the government.

Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, had won the biding for the airline’s services in October last year for INR18,000 crore, and the final shifting of the ownership was completed on January 28, 2022.

To mark the historic event, the cabins of the Air India flights that took off on the day echoed with a special announcement by the pilots, declaring the handover as the homecoming of Air India to the Tata family after 69 years.

Tata group
The Tata Group has major plans for Air India. Image: Shutterstock/Tooykrub.

“We are totally delighted to have Air India back at the Tata Group and are committed to making this a world-class airline,” said N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons. Chandrasekaran had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the official handover.

As a part of the deal, the Tata Group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS. While this will be the first privatisation since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline to join the group — Tata also holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.

If sources are to be believed, Tata has grand plans for Air India, including well-groomed cabin crew members, better on-time flights, enhanced in-flight meal services, a consolidated network for all its airlines, and more.

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