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Air India Pushes Vistara Merger

At the same time Air India’s subsidiaries, AIX Connect (formerly Air Asia) and Air India Express, are merging to form a single low-budget airline…reports Asian Lite News

Air India said on Monday that it has completed harmonising operating procedures across key functions for the four Tata Group airlines as a crucial step towards the merger.

Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Group (51 per cent) and Singapore Airlines (49 per cent), is being merged into Air India to create a single full-service carrier.

At the same time Air India’s subsidiaries, AIX Connect (formerly Air Asia) and Air India Express, are merging to form a single low-budget airline.

“Over the past 18 months, a team of over 100 members has collaborated to align best practices and adopt common operating procedures. This effort will culminate in the creation of two distinct manuals: one for the full-service carrier Air India and another for the low-cost carrier Air India Express,” said Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India.

Previously, each of the four airlines had its own separate operating manual.

“This is an important milestone in the merger of the Tata Group airlines and we are grateful for the support received from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in terms of timely clearances for the merger process,” the Air India MD added.

“The live tracker created by the flight standards directorate of DGCA with a dedicated team for continuous monitoring of the progress of the harmonisation process has been instrumental in achieving the challenging task in a time-bound manner,” Campbell further stated.

Air India and its group companies are now initiating the necessary crew training to act on the harmonised processes, which will be another step in the direction of building the new Air India and Air India Express, he added.

Meanwhile, India on Sunday welcomed its first narrow-body aircraft – Airbus A320neo, which landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. 

The A320neo aircraft joining the Air India fleet will feature a three-class configuration: eight luxurious Business Class seats, 24 Premium Economy seats with extra legroom, and 132 Economy Class seats, said the company.

“The introduction of Premium Economy cabins on narrow-body aircraft is a first for Air India,” it added.

This aircraft is expected to enter service in August, operating on domestic short-haul routes.

Three A320neo aircraft in three-class configurations with the old Air India livery have already started operating in the domestic network.

From early next year, Air India will start offering enhanced flying experience operating new, upgraded and refurbished aircraft – in both the narrow-body and wide-body fleet.

In December last year, Tata group-owned Air India rejigged the 250-aircraft order it placed with Airbus in 2022. Air India had placed an order for 250 aircraft with Airbus, comprising 210 narrow-body A320 family, including 140 A320neo and 70 A321neo aircraft. The company changed the order to 140 A321neo and 70 A320neo aircraft.

The remaining 40 wide-body A1350s included six A350-900 and 34 A350-1000s.

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