Tata Group is considering a plan to integrate its four airline brands under Air India Ltd, reported Bloomberg on Thursday citing people with knowledge of the matter. India’s largest conglomerate is also considering scrapping the Vistara brand, which is Singapore Airlines Ltd’s India affiliate, the report further added.
On October 13, Singapore Airlines said in a release that it was in “confidential discussions” with the Tata group concerning the securities of Vistara and Air India, including a “potential integration” of the two airlines.
The integration of all Tata group airlines under the Air India brand will create an entity with nearly 200 aircraft and more than 800 domestic and international departures. This would make it the country’s second-largest airline after IndiGo. Air India is also expected to announce one of the largest aircraft orders in recent times which would lead to an almost threefold increase in its fleet size.
Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson last month said the airline aims to have a 30 per cent share in both domestic and international markets in the next five years.
Months after taking over, Tata Group came out with a revival plan ‘Vihaan.AI’ for the loss-making carrier. According to Wilson, the airline will triple its fleet in the next five years.
The airline will be inducting 5 wide-body Boeing and 25 Airbus narrow-body planes over the next 15 months. The aircraft being leased are 21 Airbus A320 neos, 4 Airbus A321 neos, and 5 Boeing B777-200LRs.
Air India’s narrow-body fleet stands at 70 aircraft. Out of them, 54 are in service and the remaining 16 aircraft will progressively return to service by early 2023. The wide-body fleet stands at 43 aircraft, of which 33 are operational.