As the group works on becoming a significant international aviation player, Air India chief Campbell Wilson on Monday said the full-service carrier post the merger of Vistara will be known as Air India which is much more recognised outside the country. While the resultant full-service carrier will be known as Air India, Wilson emphasised that efforts will be made to retain some of the “Vistara heritage in that new manifestation”. Since taking over the loss-making Air India in January last year, Tata Group has been working on transforming the airline group and has announced that Vistara will be merged with itself, while AIX Connect, earlier known as AirAsia India, is getting integrated with Air India Express.
“The intention is to have one full-service airline and one low-cost airline in the group. The full-service airline will be an amalgam of Air India and Vistara,” Wilson said. During a virtual media interaction, the CEO and MD of Air India also said there is a desire to carry forward the heritage of both Air India and Vistara, and work is going through on the form.
“Vistara has a very strong recognition in the Indian market but if you look outside the Indian market, clearly Air India is much more recognised and has a 90-year history… the future full-service carrier will be called Air India but we would like to retain and celebrate some of the Vistara heritage in that new manifestation,” Wilson said.
Regarding the merger of Vistara with Air India, Wilson on Monday said it is in the process of seeking clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI). “We are also working together with some external parties on the opportunities in an integrated business, the things that we need to focus on in the process of integration…,” he added.
On November 29 last year, Tata Group announced the merger of Vistara with Air India under a deal wherein Singapore Airlines will also acquire a 25.1 per cent stake in Air India. The deal, which will make Air India the country’s largest international carrier and second-largest domestic carrier, is expected to be completed by March 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.
Currently, Tata group owns a 51 per cent stake in Vistara and the rest is with Singapore Airlines. Air India has enormous potential and unprecedented opportunities. The group is working on becoming a significant international player, Wilson said.