New Delhi: Air India today announced that it has signed agreements to complete the acquisition of 100% shareholding in AirAsia India (AAI) and to subsidiarize it under Air India.
An operational review process is underway with a view to ultimately integrating AAI fully with Air India Express (AIXL). Consolidation of these two airlines, both of which operate as low-cost carriers, will be undertaken as part of the restructuring roadmap that is being envisioned for the Tata group’s airline business and is expected to bring customer, revenue, cost and operational benefits through broader adoption of each airlines’ best practices, systems and routes, and the combined entity’s greater scale.
A working group has been formed to evaluate and execute the integration of the AI Group’s low-cost operations, which will be co-led by Sunil Bhaskaran, CEO & MD, AirAsia India and Aloke Singh, CEO, Air India Express. The working group will report to a committee chaired by Air India MD & CEO, Campbell Wilson.
The assessment and implementation of full integration process of AAI and AIXL, through a possible scheme of merger or otherwise and subject to necessary corporate approvals, is expected to take approximately 12 months, with network and other synergies to be realised progressively during that period.
Commenting on the development, Mr. Campbell Wilson, CEO & MD, Air India. said, “We are excited to initiate the creation of a single Air India Group low-cost carrier. This is a key step in the rationalisation and transformation of the Group, and we will be working closely with the management teams and staff throughout the process. We also look forward to the many new opportunities a stronger AI Group low-cost carrier will bring for customers and staff alike.”
About Air India:
Founded by the legendary JRD Tata, Air India is synonymous with the growth and evolution of civil aviation in India. Since its first flight on October 15, 1932, Air India has spread its wings to become a major international airline with a network across USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Far-East & South-East Asia, Australia and the Gulf. The airline also has an extensive domestic network connecting over 55 cities in the country through its fleet of narrow and wide bodied aircraft. Air India has been a member of Star Alliance, the largest global airline consortium, since July, 2014.
About Air India Express:
Air India Express, launched in 2005, is India’s first international budget carrier and a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India. It meets the need for affordable services on short and medium haul routes connecting smaller Indian towns directly to the Gulf and South East Asia regions. The company is presently headquartered in Kochi and has a fleet of 24 aircraft.