CHENNAI — Air India is carving out an
ambitious renaissance under the Tata Group conglomerate, which
regained control earlier this year after the airline was
nationalized nearly seven decades ago.
The airline is close to placing landmark orders for as many
as 500 jetliners potentially worth over $100 billion at list
prices from both Airbus and Boeing, Reuters
reported over the weekend, citing industry sources.
The report came days after Tata announced the merger of Air
India with Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, to
cement itself as the country’s largest international carrier and
second largest in the domestic market after IndiGo.
The merged Air India entity will have 218 planes and fly to
52 domestic and 38 international destinations.
Here is Air India’s timeline that includes financial
troubles, reputation drop and Tata’s plans to restore it.
1932 Entrepreneur J.R.D Tata, the first Indian to
receive a commercial pilot’s license, forms the
airline, India’s first.
1946 Tata Airlines is converted into a public entity and
renamed Air-India. The Maharajah mascot also makes
his first appearance.
1953 Air India is nationalized and splits into a
domestic airline and an international carrier.
April 2005 Air India launches low-cost carrier Air India
April National carriers Air India and Indian Airlines are
2007* merged into a single airline
July 2009 The airline appoints State Bank of India
to prepare a roadmap for recovery after years of
losses under state control and emergence of new
April 2012 India approves a $5.8 billion bailout for Air
India, which was to be received by 2020
March 2018 India plans to sell a controlling stake, along with
roughly $5.1 billion of the carrier’s debt
June 2018 India shelves a plan to sell a 76% stake due to
lack of interest from bidders
December India decides to sell 100% of its stake after
2019 failing to find takers for its offer of 76% and
October The government gets two bids after extending the
2020 deadline several times
September India’s finance ministry says Air India has
2021 received financial bids from Tata Sons and Ajay
Singh, promoter of budget airline SpiceJet
October India government announces Tata Sons as the winning
2021 bidder for its 100% stake in Air India, after the
conglomerate bid 180 billion Indian rupees ($2.18
January Tata regains control of Air India
April 2022 Air India proposes to buy the entire equity share
capital of low cost carrier AirAsia India, which
Tata has a majority stake in and operates with
Malaysia’s AirAsia X Bhd
May 2022 Tata announces appointment of Campbell Wilson, the
head of Singapore Airlines’ budget carrier Scoot,
as Air India’s CEO, weeks after appointing N.
Chandrasekaran as chairman.
October Singapore Airlines says it is in talks with Tata
2022 about a potential merger of Vistara, their joint
venture airline, with Air India
November AirAsia sells its stake in AirAsia India to Air
November Tata says it is merging Air India with Vistara, its
2022 joint venture with Singapore Airlines, with Tata
holding 74.9% of the combined entity and the latter
owning the rest
*sourced from Britannica
($1 = 82.5650 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Chennai and Nandan
Mandayam in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans)
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