Vistara to merge into Air India by next year: CEO Vinod Kannan - Hindustan Times

Vistara to merge into Air India by next year: CEO Vinod Kannan

Jan 08, 2024 08:27 PM IST

Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said all the approvals from a legal perspective for the Vistara-Air India merger should come through sometime in the first half of this year, between March to October of 2024

Vistara chief executive officer (CEO) Vinod Kannan on Monday said that the legal approvals for the Vistara- Air India merger will be completed by the first half of this year and the operational merger would be completed by next year.

Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan. (File)
Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan. (File)

“..we believe all the approvals from a legal perspective should come through sometime in the first half of this year, between March to October of 2024... we are looking towards this year or early next year as the operational merger, or it could stretch to the middle of next year or 2025, subject to relevant approvals, subject to approvals from authorities, the legal merger, or the legal approval should come through soon and then we operationalise it,” he added.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the merger of Vistara-owner Tata Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) Airlines with Air India on September 1.

The Tata group had announced in November 2022 that as part of the merger, SIA (Singapore Airlines) will invest 2,059 crore in Air India. Post the consolidation, SIA will hold 25.1% shareholding in Air India.

Speaking on the sidelines of the airline completing nine years of flying in the Indian skies, Kannan said, “Some of the discussions mostly on the operational side have begun, however, not much happened on the commercial side. Because despite the fact that we have CCI, there are still other jurisdictions where we don’t have approvals. We want to make sure that we get all those approvals, and then we can start talking about network, pricing, and loyalty programs.”

Vistara currently operates around 325 flights and carries around 1.5 million passengers every month.

Kanan said that all the airline employees will continue with their job post the merger. He also said that the airline is currently in discussion with their employees over their roles after Vistara merges into Air India.

“We hope that by the time we have legal approvals for the merger we can start the movement of staff,” he said.

Speaking on the airline’s developments in 2023, Kannan said that through the year 2023, Vistara added a total of 17 aircraft and the current fleet size stands at 67.

“In December 2023, versus December 2022, we’ve added almost 60% more flights, in terms of departures. But in terms of capacity, we’ve added almost more than 25% year-on-year,” he said.

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