Tatas joins hands with Singapore Airlines
After 18 years, the Tata Group has finally taken a step forward by joining hands with Singapore Airlines to start a new airline venture in which Tatas will have 51% stake. The Singapore Airlines will have 49 per cent stake in the new venture. The MoU was signed today to start the full service airlines in India soon.
The new Board will have three members – two from Tata Sons and one from Singapore Airlines. Prasad Menon, nominated by Tata Sons, will be the Chairman. In 1995, Tatas and Singapore Airlines had planned a similar venture, which did not take off due to change in civil aviation policy in 1997, which barred foreign carriers from investing in domestic airlines.
They again bid for the divestment of Air India in 2000, but withdrew later in 2001. Currently, Tata Sons have a tripartite partnership with Malaysia-based AirAsia and Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd for Air Asia India. The Tatas have just 30% stake with no operational role. But, they will have a major role to play in the new venture with Singapore Airlines.
The Tatas, which also own India’s most popular profit-making airliner, IndiGo, have a long history in civil aviation. JRD Tata had started Tata Airlines in 1932, which was renamed as Air India in 1946. It was later nationalised in 1953 and came under the government control.