Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines have approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for its approval on the merger of Vistara with Air India. Both are full-service carriers — while Air India is wholly owned by Tata Sons, Vistara is a joint-venture of Tata Sons (51 per cent equity) and Singapore Airlines (49 per cent equity).
The merger notice has been filed by: Tata Sons; Singapore Airlines; Air India; and Tata SIA Airlines (Vistara). If approved by the CCI, the Air India-Vistara merger will most likely be complete by the end of the current financial year, by March 2024. Once the merger is through, the merged entity will only have the Air India brand, while the Vistara brand will no longer be used. Singapore Airlines will have a 25.1 per cent stake in the merged entity.
As per reports, the Tata Group (of which Tata Sons is the parent company) has also undertaken the process of merging its two low-cost carriers, Air India Express and AIX Connect (formerly Air Asia India).
Following both the mergers, the Tatas will have a streamlined presence in both the full-service carrier space and the low-cost carrier space.
Latest data from the aviation sector show that the two full-service carriers, Air India and Vistara, currently have a cumulative market share of just above 25 per cent in India, the second largest in the country, after the market leader and low-cost carrier Indigo.