Air India to concentrate on expansion of its US routes while SIA is open to a Vistara-Air India merger

As international flights resume from March 27, the Tata Group is all set to revamp Air India with the early focus being select international routes, CNBC-TV18 reported.

Tata Group plans to focus on expanding international routes. Its primary focus is expected to be expanding flights to the US market as regular international flights are set to resume from March 27.

Air India is looking at adding more flights and new destinations in the United States – a key area of interest at present as the Ukraine-Russia war affects several airlines.

Air India to concentrate on expansion of its US routes

Expanding new routes will help present a new experience, sources told CNBC, as the Tata Group looks to turn around the airline after taking over the loss-making company from the government after 69 years.

Airspaces over Ukraine and Russia have been affected due to the raging war between the countries, leading to airlines taking longer routes to reach destinations. This has increased fuel and operational costs. This has piqued the Tatas’ interest who are keen on starting more routes as United Airlines and others take a backseat.

ALSO READ – N Chandrasekaran to continue with his review of Air India

Air India, however, is yet to finalise a CEO.

Air India, however, is yet to finalise a CEO. Tata Sons chief N Chandrasekaran and a five-member core committee will be leading the operations till Air India gets a new CEO, CNBC reported quoting sources. Chandrasekaran was appointed Air India Chairman on Monday, March 14.

ALSO READ – Vistara and Air India to coexist, merger talks on hold

Another key development is that Singapore Airlines (SIA) is open to considering the merger of synergies between Vistara and Air India. However, SIA told CNBC, “Singapore Airlines does not comment on any confidential discussions it may or may not be having.”

SIA has a 49% stake in Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.

The Tata Group acquired Air India back from the government with a winning bid of INR 18,000 crore. The Tatas would pay INR 2,700 crore cash and take over INR 15,300 crore of the airline’s debt. The takeover of the airline was completed on January 27.

(With Inputs from CNBC TV18)

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