‘Welcome back Air India,’ says Ratan Tata as the founder group wins Air India bid, shares iconic photo of JRD Tata alighting from the Maharaja

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Tata Sons has won the bid to acquire the national carrier Air India, today, October 8, 2021. The group placed a winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore to acquire 100 percent stake in Air India, as well as its low-cost arm, Air India Express, and a 50 percent stake in the carrier's SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS). The bid cleared the way of the cash strapped Maharaja to come back to its founder company exactly 68 years after India had nationalized its private airlines in 1953. Tata Sons' special purpose vehicle (SPV) Talace Pvt Limited placed a successful bid of Rs 18,000 crore with debt to be retained at Rs 15,300 crore and cash component of Rs 2,700 crore.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia extended his congratulations to Ratan Tata led Tata Group and said the privatization of Air India ‘marks a new dawn for the airline’.

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On the other hand, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, posted an emotional message on social media after acquiring the airline that was accompanied by an iconic image of JRD Tata alighting from an AI aircraft. He wrote, “Welcome back Air India”. He further wrote about how his predecessor and founder of Air India, JRD Tata would have felt today and said, “JRD Tata would have been overjoyed if he was in our midst today.”

He further admitted that it will take time to rebuild the national carrier to its previous reputation but it is still a great opportunity for his company to extend its presence in the aviation industry. Tata Group will now consolidate their airlines business as they now have two budget airlines- AI Express and AirAsia India- and as many full service ones- AI and Vistara.

N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, also said that he was delighted to win the bid and called it a ‘historic moment’ for the company and a ‘rare privilege’ for Tata Sons to once again own and operate the national carrier. He also promised to build a ‘world class airline that makes every Indian proud’.

SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director, Ajay Singh who could not outbid the Tatas also extended his congratulations to the conglomerate and said in a statement, “ "I congratulate the Tata Group on winning the bid for Air India and wish them all the success. It was my honour and privilege to be shortlisted for bidding for Air India. I am confident that the Tata Group will restore the glory of Air India and make all of India proud." Mr Singh, who also took a part in the bidding process in his private capacity, put a bid of Rs 15,100 crore against the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore.

(Source: Twitter)

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