Competition Commission of India approves Vistara-Air India merger

The regulator stated that Singapore Airlines’ acquisition of a certain shareholding in Air India is subject to compliance with the voluntary commitments offered by the parties involved.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the merger of Vistara-owner Tata Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) Airlines with Air India on Friday, September 1. The regulator added that the acquisition of certain shareholding by Singapore Airlines in Air India is subject to compliance with voluntary commitments offered by the parties.

Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons and SIA, with Tata Sons holding 51% and Singapore Airlines owning 49%. Air India is owned by Talace Private Limited, a fully-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons.

The potential merger may provide economies of scale to both Vistara and Air India, as well as open up access to dozens of new slots globally for Singapore Airlines. It may also help Tata Sons consolidate its aviation business balance sheets. Air India and Vistara are expected to retain their individual brand identities post-merger, though eventually, only one brand may remain.

Singapore Airlines had stated that India has strong domestic and international traffic flows, which are expected to more than double over the next 10 years. The airline advised shareholders and potential investors to exercise caution when dealing or trading in the company’s securities.

Currently, the Tata group operates four airlines: Air India, Air India Express, AirAsia India, and Vistara. Tata Sons is working on an airline consolidation strategy to save costs, build synergies by optimizing aircraft utilization and routes, and gain a larger market share to take on IndiGo, India’s biggest airline.

Earlier this month, Air India unveiled its new brand identity and aircraft livery as part of its rebranding. The airline’s new design features a palette of deep red, aubergine, and gold highlights, as well as a chakra-inspired pattern. Travelers will begin to see the new logo throughout their journey starting December 2023 when Air India’s first Airbus A350 enters the fleet in the new livery.