In news- Recently, the Tata Group has regained control of Air India, 69 years after the Mumbai-based conglomerate relinquished its stake in the airline to the Central government. It was officially confirmed by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
History of Air India-
- Air India was started in 1932 by Tata Group’s former Chairman Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (J.R.D.) Tata was the nation’s first carrier, flying mail between Karachi, then a part of undivided British-ruled India, and Bombay.
- It was then known as Tata Airlines and was renamed Air India only in 1946.
- After the country got independence, the airline was nationalized in 1953 by the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
- Nationalization created two corporations—one for domestic service, called Indian Airlines Corporation (merging Air-India Limited with six lesser lines), and one for international service, Air-India International Corporation.
- The latter’s name was abbreviated to Air-India in 1962.
- In fact, industrialist JRD Tata served as the chairman of Air India till 1977.
- After India began allowing private airlines in 1994, Air India struggled to remain competitive.
- It began posting losses in 2007 and merged with Indian Airlines later that year to form National Aviation Company of India Ltd. (NACIL; renamed Air India Ltd. in 2010).
- After accumulating billions of dollars in debt over the next decade, the government began looking to privatize the company in 2017.
- In October 2021, the Tata Group emerged as the winning bidder for 100% of Air India (including the airline’s 100% stake in budget airline Air India Express and 50% stake in ground handling firm AI-SATS), having placed a bid of Rs 18,000 crore.
- Of this amount, Tatas have taken over Rs 15,300 crore worth of debt and Rs 2,700 crore to be paid to the government in cash.