Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the official handover of Air India, sources told NDTV. Tata nominees are expected to replace government members on Air India Board ahead of formal handover, they added.
In October last year, the government had sold Air India to Talace Private Limited — a subsidiary of the Tata group’s holding company — for Rs 18,000 crore.
After that, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued to the Tata group confirming the government’s willingness to sell its 100 per cent stake in the airline. Then, the Centre had signed the share purchase agreement (SPA) for this deal.
As a part of the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm Air India SATS.
Tatas had beat the Rs 15,100-crore offer by a consortium led by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh and the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore set by the government for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in the loss-making carrier.
While this will be the first privatisation since 2003-04, Air India will be the third airline brand in the Tatas’ stable — it holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd.
Currently, Air India controls over 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports as well as 900 slots abroad.
Tatas had set up Tata Airlines in 1932, which was later — in 1946 — renamed as Air India. The government took control of the airline in 1953, but JRD Tata continued to be its chairman till 1977.