Control of Air India Back to its Founder Tata Group After a 67-year Hiatus

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NEW DELHI — India’s Tata Sons has been selected as the winning bidder for the debt-laden state-run airline Air India, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

A panel of ministers accepted a proposal from officials recommending the salt-to-software conglomerate ahead of an offer from Ajay Singh, promoter of India’s airline operator Spicejet Ltd, the report said.

A spokesperson for Tata Sons declined to comment. A finance ministry spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters message seeking comment, while Air India declined to comment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been pushing to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, kept aloft by a bailout since 2012. Government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials have said.

Tata’s association with Air India dates back to 1932, when the airline was founded by the group, but it was nationalised in 1953. However, it’s now back in the hands of its owners after a hiatus of 67 years. — Reuters

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