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Report claims Tata Sons won bid for Air India; Govt says no decision taken yet

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Air India if the deal lands in the hands of Tata Sons. The airline was created in 1932 by industrialist JRD Tata. Back then, it was called Tata Airlines. Post-independence, the airline was nationalized and rebranded as Air India

Tata Sons win the bid for Air India Reports VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Oct 1, 2021, 12:26 PM IST
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Tata Sons Limited has been reportedly selected as the winning bidder for Air India. However, the government has denied any such announcement being made.

Air India comprises of three airlines -- Air India, Indian Airlines and Air India Express. Besides this, the government also wants to offload 50 per cent of its stake in Air India SATS Airport Services.

In a way, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Air India if the deal lands in the hands of Tata Sons. The airline was created in 1932 by industrialist JRD Tata. Back then, it was called Tata Airlines. Post-independence, the airline was nationalized and rebranded as Air India.

Tata Sons had submitted a bid for Air India earlier this month. The other contender for the national carrier was SpiceJet Limited owner Ajay Singh.

This is the government's third attempt to offload Air India. Two earlier attempts to sell off Air India had failed, once in 2001 due to political opposition to Singapore Airlines bid on the national carrier and then in 2018 when India's biggest airline Indigo pulled out stating that it could purchase the national carrier entirely.

While the government will look to use the revenue generated from the sale of Air India to try and reduce its growing budget deficit, the new owners of the airline would have to deal with the massive headcount, which includes over 1,500 trained pilots and about 2,000 ground engineers.

According to media reports, Tata Sons -- if they secure the bid -- will have to shell out millions more in upgrade costs to its 117 aircraft. At the same time, the new owners will get access to 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports.

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