Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Air India-Vistara merger advances, awaits regulatory nods

Singapore Airlines announced that its proposed merger between Air India and Vistara is underway, and the carrier is awaiting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and other regulatory approvals. Announcing its December quarter results, the airline mentioned the merger will strengthen its presence in the Indian aviation sector, bolstering its multi-hub strategy, and allowing it to expand directly in the fast-growing aviation market.

“The proposed merger of Air India and Vistara is in progress, pending foreign direct investment and other regulatory approvals. When completed, it will give SIA (Singapore Airlines) a 25.1 percent stake in an enlarged Air India Group with a significant presence in all key Indian airline market segments,” the airlines mentioned in a statement.

Vistara is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Group. Under the merger deal of Vistara with Air India, Singapore Airlines will acquire a 25.1 percent stake in Air India. 

Merger completion expected by 2025 

In January last month, Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan informed that the merger is expected to be completed by mid-2025. Furthermore, all legal approvals for the transaction are anticipated between March to October this year.

In September 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the merger of Vistara-owner Tata Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) Airlines with Air India on September 1. In the Oct-Dec quarter of 2023, SIA Group reported an operating profit of SGD 609 million, a decline of 19.3 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Notably, the group’s net profit rose 4.9 percent to SGD 659 million, mainly due to various factors, including a lower tax expense, aircraft disposal surplus, and spare engines.

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