JRD Tata founded Air India (AI) 87 years ago but was then forced to relinquish control of the airline company and now the Tata Group plans to bid for the airline put up for sale by the government, reports Economic Times.
If Tata re-acquires Air India, it will be 66 years after its nationalisation.
Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran told Times Of India, “I will ask the team to evaluate it.”
Chandrasekaran further said, “Ideally it should be a Vistara decision, not a Tata Sons decision,” Chandrasekaran said before adding, “I’m not going to run a third airline (in addition to Vistara and AirAsia). Unless we merge. There are issues. I will never say yes or no. I don’t know.”
The government has been looking to exit Air India completely in contrast to the earlier plan to of retaining a minority 24 per cent. But it seems the government has learned its lesson when it attempted to disinvest 76 per cent in AI and the interest was more than lukewarm.
Tata Sons set up Tata Airlines in 1932 with JRD Tata at the helm and it became a public company and was renamed Air India.
In 1953, Nehru nationalised Air India “through the back door”, as Tata himself put it and during that time it was one of the best airlines in the world. Tata wrote to Nehru: “I can only deplore that so vital a step should have been taken without giving us a proper hearing.”
Tata become the nationalised airline’s chairman and under his leadership Air India kept on doing well until he was removed in 1977 by then Prime Minister Morarji Desai.
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