Tata Sons wins bid to take over troubled Air India for $2.4bn

The deal gives Tata access to more than 100 planes and thousands of trained pilots

Tata Sons was selected as the winning bidder for India’s flag carrier, ending decades of attempts to privatise a money-losing and debt-laden airline, and potentially ending years of taxpayer bailouts that’s kept the company alive.

Tata Sons, which originally launched Air India with a namesake branding in 1932, was the highest bidder in a government auction, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the top bureaucrat at India’s Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, said at a briefing Friday. Tata Sons bid 180 billion rupees ($2.4bn) as an enterprise value for Air India, Mr Pandey told reporters in New Delhi.

The high-profile sale is a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has embarked on a bold privatisation plan to plug a widening budget deficit, validating his stand of the state staying away from most businesses.

For Tata Sons, Air India adds a third airline brand to its stable, and gives it access to more than a hundred planes, thousands of trained pilots and crew, and lucrative landing and parking slots all around the world.

Updated: October 9th 2021, 4:37 AM