AirAsia has agreed to sell its stake in AirAsia India in order to focus on operations in the southeast Asia region, giving Air India owner Tata full control of the airline.
“Covid has allowed us to re-examine our priorities, and we felt that it was best suited for AirAsia to develop an Asean-only business, where we have four great airlines – in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines – with a much-loved brand and presence,” commented Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group.
Lingam said that India would continue to be an important market for AirAsia: “We will use the experience and knowledge we have gained from operating in the Indian domestic market to grow the Asean-Indian market in logistics and passenger services to a far greater extent.”
Which airlines does Tata own?
AirAsia India is a joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia and commenced operations in June 2014. Tata currently owns just under 84% with AirAsia holding the rest, but will become the sole owner once the share purchase agreement is concluded.
Tata is currently seeking to reorganize its airline holdings after completing the purchase of flag carrier Air India at the start of 2022.
Alongside AirAsia India, the Indian conglomerate’s airline businesses comprise Air India, Air India Express and Vistara.
Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) confirmed on October 13, 2022, that it was in talks with Tata Group that could lead to a merger of Vistara and Air India.
The Indian aviation market is set for rapid growth and the country’s aviation minister has predicted passenger numbers will double to 400 million within the next four years.
The biggest airline in India is IndiGo, but all eyes are on the future for Air India as part of the Tata Group, as well as on start-up Akasa Air and the expected relaunch of Jet Airways.