The Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Sons has reportedly won the bid for national carrier Air India. The debt-laden airline may soon be taken over by the Tata group and an official announcement may be expected in the next couple of days.
A panel of ministers have reportedly accepted a proposal from officials recommending the salt-to-steel conglomerate ahead of another offer from Ajay Singh, promoter of India’s Spicejet Ltd.
Air India was founded by JRD Tata as Tata Airlines in 1932 and Tata himself flew its first single-engine aircraft carrying air mail from Karachi to Bombay and then Madras.
After World War II, the airlines became a public limited company and was renamed Air India. On 21 February 1960, it took delivery of its first Boeing 707 named Gauri Shankar and became the first Asian airline to induct a jet aircraft in its fleet.
Attempts were made to privatise the state-run airlines between 2000 to 2001. The airline had been suffering massive losses after its merger with Indian Airlines from 2006.
The Modi government had been trying to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, kept on high by a bailout since 2012.
Netizens took to Twitter as soon as reports of Tata sons becoming the frontrunner broke out. Life comes full circle and they are glad that Air India has returned to those who gave wings to the nation.
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