By Vaibhav Agrawal
On Tuesday, the Anti Trust Regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) declared that it had approved the acquisition of the entire shareholdings in AirAsia India by Air India, which stands as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons.
“The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of the entire equity share capital of AirAsia India Private Limited by Air India Ltd- an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Private Limited (TSPL). Currently, TSPL holds 83.67 per cent of the equity share capital of Air Asia India,” stated the filed notice with CCI.
The two combined entities will possess around 15.7 per cent of India’s domestic passenger market. The subsidiary of Air India, Air India Express, flies only between India and Gulf routes and operates in the domestic market.
In December 2020, Tatas raised their stake in AirAsia India to 83.67 per cent. They were most likely to complete the acquisition of the remaining 16 per cent stake from the Malaysian airline group AirAsia Berhad.
Tata Sons have already started integrating the four airlines under its belt. They had assumed management control of Air India in January. All four airlines, Vistara, Air India, AirAsia India, Air India Express and ground handling firm AISATS, will move into a single office as a part of this process.
AirAsia India offers the country’s scheduled air cargo, passenger, and charter flight services. AirAsia India started flying in June 2014 and has no international operations.
Tatas took over Air India and Air India Express in January this year. Tatas emerged as the winning bidder for loss-making Air India in October of the previous year. It offered a bid of Rs 18,000 crore, comprising a cash payment of Rs 2,700 crore, and took over the carrier’s debt worth Rs 15,300 crore.