More than six decades after it was forcefully taken over by the then Indian Government, Air India will be finally making Home coming, with the the Government handing over Reins of the Indian Flag carrier back to TATA’s on 27th January 2022. The ceremonial handover of the Airline to the India’s Premier Industrial House comes full circle after prolonged process of Disinvestment fraught with many postponements and skewing of the policy decisions by the Cabinet Sub Committee and the EGOM-Empowered Group of Ministers who persevered months of deliberations to meet the Disinvestment Target set by the Budget of 2021-22. The conclusion of the Disinvestment, with 100% stake handover to the TATA’s usher in a new era of the potential of India’s aviation amidst the global Aviation doom forced by Covid-19.
Notwithstanding the minor policy issues, it is all the way to TATA’s to run the airline from 27th January 2022 onwards without any major disruption of either the staffing policy or the flight schedules. It will be a herculean task for TATA’s how they will integrate and assimilate their Aviation business with four different brands of Air India, Air India Express, Vistara and Air Asia, the most formidable Aviation quartet of Asia catering to different set of passengers in all the strata of the aviation Matrix. While it may take few months before TATA’s to identify the coherent sets of synergies among these four airline brands, the arrangement will definitely brings a breath of fresh air and certainty to the Industry, especially Airport operators who are staring at lower Airside revenue and plummeting Retail city side revenue. Per record, Air India Boasts of some of the best run Direct flight routes to USA and Europe with Non stop flights to Five destinations in USA-NewYork, Newark, Washington DC, Chicago and SanFrancisco beside the Sydney & Melbourne and the Continental Europe.
TATA’s ownership and management of Air India ensures level playing field and competition in the industry akin to TATA group Taking over NCLT referred Bhushan steel at fair valuation and keeping more than 30000 jobs alive in the steel sector. The MOU between government and TATA house agreed upon retaining all the existing employees of Air India, thus saving the families of those employees from heart burn.
External Threats to Airindia may remain in the form of cases filed by Cairn Energy in the US and Canadian courts as well as by the recently debunked DEVAS group, who lay claim to the International assets of the Airline as part of their bargaining campaign with Government in non related issue. However Indian government may indemnify TATA’s against any adverse outcome of those cases.