'Golden age of Air India lies ahead': Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekharan's letter welcoming 'Air India family'
New Delhi/IBNS: Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekharan on Thursday said he is "convinced that the golden age of Air India lies ahead" as he welcomed the employees of the airline addressing them as "members of the Air India family".
Post the formal handover of Air India, the man at the helm of the salt-to-software conglomerate in a letter said, "Our journey towards it starts now. Welcome. And welcome back."
Air India was founded by JRD Tata in 1932 under the name, Tata Airlines. In 1953, the government took over the controls of Air India to run it as the national career.
Air India's acquisition by the Tata Group is being hailed as the carrier's homecoming.
Tata Group expressed the feeling, retweeting Air India's post with the caption: "Excited to take off with you! 😊 #AirIndiaOnBoard"
"I have learned that to preserve what is best about the past, requires constant change. It is by evolving, adapting and embracing the future that we best honour a glorious history... The entire nation's eyes are on us, waiting to see what we will achieve together. To build the airline our country needs, we need to look to the future," the Tata Sons Chairman said in the letter.
Ahead of the handover of 100 percent AI stake, Chandrasekharan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and thanked her for the successful closure of the Air India transaction.
Tata group's holding company Talace Pvt Ltd bought Air India for Rs 18,000 crore, outbidding a consortium led by SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh.
Air India along with its budget carrier Air India Express will be the third airline owned by the Tatas.
#FlyAI : Air India Limited, Air India Express & AISATS (AI stake) have become part of the Tata Group today.— Air India (@airindiain) January 27, 2022
Senior Officials of @TataCompanies , @SecyDIPAM and @MoCA_GoI met at Airlines House New Delhi. pic.twitter.com/HA4aEkVwWX
"On an emotional note, Air India, under the leadership of Mr JRD Tata had, at one time, gained the reputation of being one of the most prestigious airlines in the world. Tatas will have the opportunity of regaining the image and reputation it enjoyed in earlier years. Mr JRD Tata would have been overjoyed if he was in our midst today," Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata had said in October 2021, after the group bagged the bid.
The sale also includes 50 percent of ground handling arm Air India-Sats, but excludes non-core assets including land and building, valued at Rs 14,718 crore, which are to be transferred to the government's holding company AIAHL.
At the time Tata Sons won the bid, Air India's total bid stood at 60,000 crore, while the government had been losing Rs 20,000 crore every day in running the airline.