As per a report by The Times of India, The Tata Group may be ‘moving closer’ to partner with Singapore Airlines to make an offer for Air India.
A deal structure is claimed to be in the works and the Tata Group is probably going to merge Air India Express with AirAsia India, the report said.
Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines own full-service airline Vistara as a joint venture (JV). Tata Sons owns a 51 percent stake in AirAsia India while Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad owns the remaining holding.
The government opened the formal bidding process for Air India on January 27 offering its entire 100% stake, putting its entire 100% stake in the airline on sale.
The Tata group has approached AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes for his green signal on the Air India Express acquisition, sources told TOI.
The non-compete clause in the agreement between AirAsia and Tata Sons doesn’t permit either party from being involved in another low-cost airline.
Meanwhile, Tony Fernandes stepped aside as AirAsia CEO on February 3 for a minimum of two months as Malaysian authorities investigate allegations of Airbus bribing the airline for an aircraft order.
Senior company executive Tharumalingam Kanagalingam has been appointed as acting CEO.
Fernandes was also recently summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in reference to charges of criminal conspiracy and concealment.
The Tatas founded Air India in 1932 as “Tata Air Services” and owned it till it was nationalized in 1947.
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