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'Totally Delighted': Chairman After Tata Group's Official Takeover of Air India

Meanwhile, Air India took to Twitter to welcome the Tata Group aboard.

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'Totally Delighted': Chairman After Tata Group's Official Takeover of Air India
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The Air India divestment process is complete, with the Tata Group officially taking over the airlines, reported ANI on Thursday, 27 January, quoting Tuhin Kant Pandey, Secretary of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

Tata Sons chairman, N Chandrasekaran, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the official handover of Air India to the Tata Group.

After the takeover, Chandrasekaran said:

"We're totally delighted that this process is complete and happy to have Air India back in the Tata Group. We look forward to working with everyone to create a world-class airline."

According to ANI, DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kant Pandey said, "The formalities have been completed. The Air India disinvestment process is closed. The shares have been transferred to Talace Pvt Ltd, which is the new owner of Air India."

Shortly afterwards, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran called on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and, as per the company, "thanked her for the successful closure of the Air India transaction".

Meanwhile, Air India took to Twitter to welcome the Tata Group aboard.

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Senior officials of the Tata Group, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management as well as the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation also met on Thursday, photographs of which were shared by Air India.

100% Shares Transferred, New Board Takes Charge

The DIPAM Secretary, as per ANI, added, "The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India successfully concluded today with transfer of 100% shares of Air India to Talace Pvt Ltd along with management control. A new Board, led by the Strategic Partner, takes charge of Air India."

The Tata Group is taking back the ownership of the airlines after nearly 69 years.

Announcing the takeover and thanking PM Modi, Tata Group said in a press release, "Our Prime Minister has in action demonstrated what his commitment to 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance' means."

The press release further quoted Chandrasekaran as saying, "We are excited to have Air India back in the Tata Group and are committed to making this a world-class airline. I warmly welcome all the employees of Air India to our Group, and look forward to working together."

Later, on Thursday evening, Air India released a circular for cockpit crew for welcome announcements, which will be made on all flights on 28 January. It is as follows:

"Dear guests, welcome aboard this historic flight, which marks a special event. Today, Air India officially becomes a part of Tata Group again, after seven decades. Welcome to the future of Air India."

The government had, on Monday, notified the agreement between Air India and Air India Ltd and AI Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) for the transfer of non-core assets, ahead of the national airline's takeover by the Tata Group.

Previously, at 10 pm on Wednesday, employees of Air India had received an email that the transfer had been put on hold, India Today reported.

Tata's 1st Step at Air India: Enhanced On-Flight Meal Services

In the meantime, the Tata Group has taken its first step at Air India by introducing an "enhanced meal service" on some flights from Thursday.

The change has been made for four flights that will operate from Mumbai – AI864 (Mumbai-Delhi), AI687 (Mumbai-Delhi), AI945 (Mumbai-Abu Dhabi), and AI639 (Mumbai-Bengaluru) – news agency PTI reported, citing officials.

The new meal service will be expanded to more flights in a staggered and phased manner, PTI reported, citing officials.

The Delay in the Air India Divestment

Following Tata's victory in the Air India bidding on 8 October 2021, the central government on 11 October 2021 had issued a Letter of Intent (LoI), confirming its willingness to sell its 100 percent stake in the airline.

It was settled that the handover of the company would be finished by December 2021.

However, pending approvals and unresolved dues of the debt-ridden airline posed hindrances to the process, delaying the culmination of the transfer by a month.
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Earlier, Air India's Director of Finance Vinod Hejmadi, in an email to the company's employees on Monday, 24 January, said the divestment of the national carrier was slated to finish on 27 January.

"The closing balance sheet as of 20th Jan has to be provided today 24th Jan so that it can be reviewed by Tatas and any changes can be effected on Wednesday," an internal communication stated.

Notably, business tycoon JRD Tata had founded the airline and had piloted the first flight in 1932.

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Topics:  Air India   Tata Group 

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