Air India, the debt-ridden state-run airline company, is back to its old owner. The winning bid for Air India has been won by a unit of Tata Sons. This has been announced by Tuhin Kant Pandey, Secretary, DIPAM. Pandey said in a press conference on Friday evening that Tata Sons’ unit Talace Pvt Ltd was the winning bidder for Air India with Rs 18,000 crore. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of December this year. Ajay Singh of Tata Group and SpiceJet had bid for Air India.
The government is selling its entire stake in Air India and Air India Express. Also, Air India’s ground handling company is selling 50 per cent stake in AISATS. For this, Ajay Singh of Tata Group and SpiceJet had made individual bids. The sale of Air India is the most important part of the privatization program of the Modi government. A committee of ministers headed by Home Minister Amit Shah is personally monitoring it. As per the current proposal, Air India will be transferred to the new owner along with a loan of Rs 23,000 crore. The remaining debt of the company will be transferred to Air India Asset Holdings Ltd (AIAHL).
Air India is going to return home after 68 years. The Tata group bid for Air India through AirAsia India. Air India was started by the Tata group and now after 68 years, once again Air India is in the lap of the Tata group. JRD Tata founded Tata Airlines in 1932. Airlines were stopped during the Second World War. When the airlines were restored again, on 29 July 1946, the name of Tata Airlines was changed to Air India Limited. After independence, in 1947, 49 percent of Air India’s participation was taken by the government. It was nationalized in 1953.
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Pandey said that since 2009-10 till now, the government has put Rs 54,584 crore as cash support in Air India. Apart from this, Rs 55,692 crore has been put as guarantee support. In this way, the government has put a total of Rs 1,10,276 crore in Air India since 2009-10. Air India had a debt of Rs 61,562 crore as of 31 August 2021. Winning bidder Tata Sons will bear the debt of Rs 15,300 crore. After this, Air India will have a debt of Rs 46,262 crore.
Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Rajiv Bansal has said that as on date Air India has 12,085 employees, out of which 8,084 are permanent employees and 4,001 are on contract. Apart from this, there are 1434 employees in Air India Express. He further said that the winning bidder Tata Sons will retain all the employees for the next one year. If he is not retained in the second year, the company will offer him voluntary retirement.