Every individual who regularly goes through the current affairs of the country will be aware of the news of state-owned Air India, as the company is in huge debt and things aren’t in their favor. Air India is currently seeking someone who can take over the airliner or privatize the company. The airline was first introduced by Tata Group in 1931 and later changed it as Tata Airline and was renamed as Air India after India got independence. The airline was nationalized in 1953 by the government.
If sources have to be believed, it has been reported that Air India will be soon reunited with Tata Group. Tata Group is in talks with the government, which signifies Tata’s interest in taking up the 51% stake of the national carrier, which is a huge loss.
A senior government official stated that the fact cannot be ignored that Tata once owned Air India and there is another emotional side of it. But, it cannot be given to anyone without any scrutiny and process as a part of plans led by the government.
He also added that privatization of Air India was the proposal by the Ministry to stimulate the growth airline. However, the cabinet is yet to conclude the final decision in this case. If considered divestment, Tata will have to participate in the bid with other players. The deal won’t be that important unless the other crucial issues such as voluntary retirement, fleet management, and debt restructuring. The stake release will have to be decided cautiously as the company owning 51% stake will have full access to the management control. The issue is very sensitive in terms politics and it is intricate to decide in some countable meetings.
Air India’s resurgence has been in limelight since the merger with Indian Airlines that took place, a decade ago. The merger has developed a gap among the departments and ministries. On the other side, Government’s think-tank, Niti Aayog, suggested comprehensive privatization. In addition, Civil Aviation Ministry thinks selling stake would be like giving away the nation’s airliner to the private player in the form of served platter.
Tata already has an alliance with two airline companies such as Vistara and Air Asia, and buying the stake of Air India will help to recover the position of the company as a leader. But at the other side, the success of the deal will put a pressure on the company which is already dealing with the noteworthy debt.