Tata to take over national carrier Air India

India's Tata Sons has won a competitive bid for acquiring the country's flag carrier Air India, including its wholly owned subsidiary Air India Express and 50 per cent stake in Air India SATS.

Consequent to the acquisition, the Tatas will own a 100 per cent stake in Air India (a full-service airline operating in domestic and international markets) as also 100 per cent in its subsidiary Air India Express (a low-cost carrier airline that focusses on short-haul international operations especially in the Middle East market) and 50 per cent in the joint venture Air India SATS (airport services on ground and cargo handling). The total permanent and contractual employee strength of Air India and AIXL is 13,500.

The government aims to conclude the transaction by December 2021, when the government shares will be transferred to the Tata subsidiary.

With the acquisition, Air India comes a full circle for Tatas, who had set up the airline before its nationalisation in 1953. The founder, JRD Tata continued as the airline's chairman till 1977. 

The Tatas will get ownership of iconic brands like Air India, Indian Airlines & the Maharajah. Air India has a fleet of 117 wide-body and narrow-body aircraft and AIXL has a fleet of 24 narrow-body aircraft. A significant number of these aircraft are owned by Air India.