The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has authorised Air India's acquisition of the full stake in Air Asia India, paving the way for amalgamation among the four Tata Group carriers.
The Group intends to make Al, which it acquired in January, its flagship carrier and to unite low-cost carriers AirAsia India and Al Express. Vistara, Tata's joint venture with Singapore Airlines, will operate as a distinct airline for the time being, alongside Al.
"CCI approves acquisition of entire shareholding in AirAsia India by Air India, a wholly- owned subsidiary of Tata Sons," the CCI tweeted.
"The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of the entire equity share capital of AAIPL by Al, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Private Limited (TSPL). At present, TSPL holds 83.67% of the equity share capital of AAIPL. The proposed combination is notifiable under... the Competition Act, 2002," according to the notification sent to CCI this April.
AAIPL is a joint venture in which Tata owns 83.67 % and AirAsia owns the remaining 16.33 %.
"The proposed combination will not lead to any change in the competitive landscape or cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition in India, irrespective of the manner in which the relevant markets are defined," the notification stated.
Tata Sons has initiated the process of combining its four airlines under one roof at a seven-lakh-square-foot mega office in Gurgaon, through a proposed merger of AirAsia India Pt Ltd (AAIPL) and Air India (AI).