Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Tata Sons (Tata) have agreed to merge Air India and Vistara, with SIA also investing INR 20,585 million (S$360 million, US$250 million) in Air India as part of the transaction. This would give SIA a 25.1% stake in an enlarged Air India group with a significant presence in all key market segments1. SIA and Tata aim to complete the merger by March 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.
SIA intends to fully fund this investment with its internal cash resources, which stood at S$17.5 billion as of 30 September 20222.
SIA and Tata have also agreed to participate in additional capital injections, if required, to fund the growth and operations of the enlarged Air India in FY2022/23 and FY2023/24. Based on SIA’s 25.1% stake post-completion, its share of any additional capital injection could be up to INR 50,200 million (S$880 million, US$615 million), payable only after the completion of the merger.
The actual amount will depend on factors including the progress of the enlarged Air India’s business plan, and its access to other funding options. SIA intends to fully fund any additional capital injections with its internal cash resources.
Through this transaction, SIA will reinforce its partnership with Tata and immediately acquire a strategic stake in an entity that is four to five times larger in scale compared to Vistara. The merger would bolster SIA’s presence in India, strengthen its multi-hub strategy, and allow it to continue participating directly in a large and fast-growing aviation market.
Mr Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines, said: “Tata Sons is one of the most established and respected names in India. Our collaboration to set up Vistara in 2013 resulted in a market-leading full-service carrier, which has won many global accolades in a short time.
India is the fastest growing global economy, and is projected to become the third largest in the world by 20273. It is also the world’s third largest aviation market. Demand for air travel is surging with passenger traffic expected to more than double over the next 10 years, supported by rising income levels and ongoing investments in its aviation infrastructure. However, India also remains underserved with low international seats per capita, signifying significant growth potential4 .
Following its acquisition by Tata in January 2022, Air India unveiled a wide-ranging transformation programme to strengthen its foundations and revamp its operations, setting it on the road to recovery and positioning it for growth5.
The combination of Air India and Vistara would bring significant synergies. Air India has valuable slots and air traffic rights at domestic and international airports that are not available to Vistara. With Vistara widely recognised as India’s leading full-service carrier, Air India will benefit from its operational capabilities, customer base, and a strong focus on customer service and product excellence.
Today, Air India (including Air India Express and AirAsia India) and Vistara have a total of 218 widebody and narrowbody aircraft, serving 38 international and 52 domestic destinations. With the integration, Air India will be the only Indian airline group to operate both full-service and low-cost passenger services. It can optimise its route network and resource utilisation, be flexible and agile in capturing demand across market segments, and tap on a larger consumer base to strengthen its loyalty programme.
This would reinforce its position as India’s largest international carrier and second largest domestic carrier, allow it to offer more options and connectivity for business and leisure customers, and enable it to compete as a leading global airline.
1Today, SIA and Tata hold a 49% and 51% stake in Vistara respectively. Tata wholly owns Air India, which includes the low-cost carriers Air India Express and AirAsia India.
2In addition to its cash and bank balances of S$17.5 billion, the Group retains access to S$2.2 billion of committed lines of credit, all of which remain undrawn. SIA intends to redeem the 2020 Mandatory Convertible Bonds on 8 December 2022, and cash and bank balances will decline by S$3.86 billion on a pro-forma basis on that date.
Austrian Ministry of Defense selects the C-390 Millennium as its new military transport aircraft
The Austrian Ministry of Defense announced today the decision to select the C-390 Millennium aircraft as its new tactical transport solution. Embraer is honored to be chosen to support this important Air Force in Europe.
Austria joins Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, and the Netherlands as the future operators of the C-390 Millennium multi-mission platform, an aircraft that is rapidly redefining the standards of tactical transport in the world defense market.
Embraer is ready to support the Austrian Ministry of Defense and Air Force in order to meet the demanding requirements of their acquisition process and is prepared to further strengthen the relationship with this nation.
U.S. F-35 Fighter Jet Missing in South Carolina, and Asks Public for Help
A US fighter jet went missing in South Carolina during a training mishap. According to US military officials, the search for his missing aircraft was centered on two lakes north of North Charleston.
At around 2 p.m. (local time), the pilot evacuated and safely parachuted into a North Charleston neighborhood. He was transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was in stable condition.
Military officials appealed to the public for assistance with finding the aircraft on Twitter.
Authorities stated that they are currently looking into the cause of the pilot’s ejection. According to Salinas, the pilot of a second F-35 made a safe landing at Joint Base Charleston. The pilots and their aircraft were part of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, which is stationed in Beaufort, which is close to the Atlantic coast of South Carolina.
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A Flight to Freedom: How Qatar Airways Helped Save a Lion’s Life
Reuben’s Second Chance: From a Cage in Romania to African Wilderness
Imagine sitting in a small cage for 6 years. Would you rather enjoy life or give it up? One of the Lions was living alone in Romania and stopped roaring after being left alone in the cage with no other animals nearby.
Qatar Airways assists this lion in living its second life by transporting it from Romania to an African forest where he can enjoy the rest of his life with other lions.
The CEO of ADI (Animal Defender International) Wildlife Sanctuary, John Kramer, in South Africa, took the initiative to bring these lions back from Romania. The entire purpose of this Sanctuary is to give back to these animals from circuses, animals who have never seen their native land, animals who have never walked on grass, lived in tiny cages bare balls, never had the sun on their backs, and all they’ve done is sit in a box to entertain humans and have never experienced anything of their natural life.
The goal of ADI Wildlife Sanctuary is to give them back as close to the life they lost as possible, which is why they have such large habitats. The reason is that he was born in a privately owned zoo in Armenia, and the family decided to close the zoo and have the animals removed, leaving him behind. He’s been alone for 6 years, and he’s actually stopped roaring.
Qatar Airways’ Compassion Soars: Lion Rescued and Rehomed in Africa
They were out of options for a flight out of Armenia for Reuben due to the size of the crate and they didn’t know what they were going to do until Qatar Airways cargo stepped in and not only said that they would arrange the flights and bring in the special aircraft, but their We Care Programme paid for Ruben’s flight. They’ve been able to begin moving out and are so happy to get up Airways cargo for allowing Reuben to live the life he lost.
What they hope to accomplish for Ruben today in the habitat here is for him to hear the voices of other lions, and he will hear a lot of lion voices here, which will give him a second shot at life. The team is overjoyed because this battered Old Lion King will be walking on African soil for the first time, and the magic of him being back where he belongs, where his forefathers came from, and with his own kind again, but he will see them, hear them, smell them, he will literally be home, and he will spend the rest of his life in Freedom.
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