After a lot of speculation around Air India's bid, Ratan Tata took to his social media to make a formal announcement. "Welcome back, Air India," he wrote on Twitter. Check out the post here:
Tata Sons won the auction after making a bid of Rs 18,000 crore, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary at Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, said in a press meeting on Friday.
The acquisiton has been dubbed a 'Ghar Wapsi' by users online since Tata Sons were the original owners of the airline before the government's takeover and nationalisation of the carrier in 1953.
The Ghar Wapsi, however, has not come easily to the Tatas. The takeover by the Government of India back in 1953 was received with harsh criticism from JRD Tata who was strictly opposed to the decision. He accused the government of taking the Tatas lightly and was a firm believer of the fact that nationalism would not bode well for the management and maintainance of an airline.
To ease his qualms, the government offered JRD the chairmanship of the airline, and the latter obliged. He micromanaged every operational function of the airline, and even personally attended to guests when he was flying.
After a tumultous journey at the airline, one that included stepping down after a horrific crash of an airplane, and being re-appointed once Indira Gandhi came to power, it is evident that the airline holds an irreplaceable place at Tata Sons, and its return has been rightfully celebrated today.
Here are some reactions from users online:
The government loses about 20 crore every year in order to run the airline, and has accumulated losses of almost Rs 70,000 crore over the years, according to Reuters.
(With inputs from Reuters).