With Tata Group's Air India acquiring the 16.67% share the Malaysian carrier still held in AirAsia India for 155.65 crore, AirAsia Bhd left the Indian low-cost carrier that carried its brand.
The Malaysian business announced on Wednesday that AirAsia India has a 12-month licence to use the "AirAsia" brand name under the terms of the share acquisition deal.
In a different statement, Air India announced that AirAsia India and Air India Express would join in about a year. The combined company will adopt the name Air India Express.
The two airlines will be integrated with the aid of a group co-led by Sunil Bhaskaran, CEO of Air Asia India, and Aloke Singh, CEO of Air India Express. A committee led by Campbell Wilson, managing director of Air India, will receive a report from the working group.
Smaller Indian towns are connected to the Gulf and Southeast Asia via short- and medium-haul routes operated by Air India Express. 24 aircraft are in the fleet of the Air India division stationed in Kochi. With full ownership of Air India, Air India Express, and AirAsia India, the Tata group is now able to share infrastructure more easily and cut expenses across all three airlines.
The fourth is a 51:49 joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons called Tata SIA Airlines, which runs as Vistara. The Tata Group is in "secret conversations" with Singapore Airlines about the possibility of a merger between Vistara and Air India.
“The Tata Group is working towards getting all four airlines on one platform, with two models - low-cost and full-service. This will help in integration between Air India Express and AirAsia India, the two budget carriers from the Tata umbrella," a senior official said, requesting anonymity.
With a fleet of 28 aircraft, AirAsia India began flying in June 2014 and now serves 18 Indian cities. Tata Sons, AirAsia, and Telestra Tradeplace of Arun Bhatia created it as a joint venture with equity holdings of 41.06%, 49%, and 9.94%, respectively.
By 2019, The Tata Group has acquired a 51% stake in the airline. AirAsia Bhd announced in December 2020 that it would sell a 32.67% share in AirAsia India to Tata Sons, with the option to sell the remaining 16.33%. Tata Sons owned 83.67% of AirAsia India as of December 2020. Data from the aviation authorities show that as of September, the airline's domestic share was 5.9%.
AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd. stated on Wednesday that the decision to leave AirAsia India was made after reevaluating its strategic goals in the wake of the epidemic. "Working with India's top-performing Tata Group has been a terrific experience for us.
According to Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group Bo Lingam, "This is not the end of our relationship; rather, it is the beginning of a new one as we seek new and exciting ways to collaborate and strengthen our synergies.