Air India is yet to have a buyer save it from its long-term financial struggles. However, earlier this week, fellow Indian outfit Vistara has expressed its interest in purchasing the state-owned airline.
LiveMint reports that during Monday’s unveiling of its brand new Boeing 787-9 aircraft, Chairman Bhaskar Bhat spoke of his company’s stance on Air India. Altogether, he has not ruled out a purchase of his country’s flag carrier.
However, a full analysis needs to be conducted before any decision is made. Additionally, the move would be subject to government procedures ahead of any progress.
“Which entity in India will not be interested to evaluate buying Air India? We need to do a long evaluation as Vistara is itself on a long journey,” Bhat said, as reported by LiveMint.
“Whoever acquires Air India, whether it’s us or anyone else, will have to follow the government timeline.”
Air India issues
India’s government is hoping to offload its entire stake in Air India. The carrier has been piling on enormous debt over the years and the state has been struggling to resolve the situation.
Previously, it hoped that an expensive turnaround plan would save the day. However, this approach largely failed. Since then, it has invited offers from investors to purchase its whole stake in the operator.
With Vistara making strong waves since it began services not so long ago, a purchase of the historic airline could do wonders for both parties. The Haryana-based carrier commenced operations in January 2015 following a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines. Within five years, the airline already serves over 30 destinations.
It has all the tools to be one of the most influential airlines in India over the next decade and beyond. By taking on Air India, it will have access to resources and opportunities that could take it to the next level of its progression.
Time for a change
If a purchase does end up happening, it would be a full circle for Tata. This is because the powerful Indian conglomerate was the original owner of Air India before the airline became nationalized in 1953.
Nonetheless, a turnaround for the government entity is long overdue. With the country relying heavily on its services, control from a brand that shows that it can be trusted with growing and maintaining operations could be just what is needed.
Simple Flying reached out to Vistara for more information on its interest in Air India but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What are your thoughts about Vistara’s stance on its Indian counterpart? Let us know what you think in the comment section.