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Tata to take control, start running Air India by January 23, 2022: Report

Comments from the Tatas on preparations for this transfer of ownership were requested and awaited until filing the report, but they have yet to outline their plans for Air India.

Tata to take control start running Air India by January 23 2022 Report gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 8, 2021, 9:24 AM IST
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The countdown to the 'Maharaja' re-acquisition by Air India creator Tata Group has begun, 68 years after it was nationalised. According to the share purchase deal inked with the government last month, the business must assume ownership and begin operating Air India, AI Express, and AI-SATS, in which the new owners possess a 50% part, by January 23 of next year, which is the "long stop date."

Comments from the Tatas on preparations for this transfer of ownership were requested and awaited until filing the report, but they have yet to outline their plans for Air India. There is currently no information about the airline's size, whether it will be a big airline or a low-cost and full-service carrier, the management structure, or fleet and cabin refurbishment plans.

Also Read | Tata Sons acquires winning bid for Air India at Rs 18,000 crore: Government

According to those familiar with the arrangement, the long stop date of January 23, 2022, is the upper maximum by which Tata's wholly-owned subsidiary must take over AI, as agreed upon by both sides. The individual familiar said that if there is a delay in meeting conditions precedent criteria or a disagreement on the closing balance sheet, the lengthy stop date might be extended with both parties' unanimous permission. However, because January 23 was the day agreed to by both, this option is unlikely to be used. On the other hand, top government officials do not anticipate a delay in AI takeover and are working to guarantee that power is transferred by the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, Tata Sons has emerged as the highest bidder for the purchase of the debt-ridden state-run airline Air India, with a proposal of Rs 18,000 crore. Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, announced debt-laden national carrier Air India returned to its founders Tata Sons, ending a decades-long struggle to offload the money-losing flag carrier. On October 4, a panel of ministers led by Home Minister Amit Shah accepted the offer.

Also Read | From Air India decor to saris of the hostesses: When Indira Gandhi hailed JRD Tata's contribution

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