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Combination of Air India and Vistara is submitted to the competition regulator.

In order to obtain permission for the merger of Air India (AI, Mumbai International) and Vistara (UK, Delhi International), Tata Sons has applied to the Competition Commission of India (CCI). After the CCI rules—which is anticipated to take about two months—competition regulators in markets where both airlines operate, including Germany, Singapore, the UK, and the UAE—as well as the National Company Law Tribunal of India must approve the merger.

“The proposed transaction relates to consideration of the merger of Tata Singapore Airlines Limited (Vistara) into Air India and the acquisition of shares in the merged entity by Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi), and Tata Sons,” the notification submitted to the CCI stated. Currently, Singapore Airlines owns a 49% share in Vistara.

The airline will exchange that for a 25.1% ownership in the expanded Air India company as a result of the merger. Given that they will have a projected 25.3% domestic market share compared to the 56.8% market share held by market leader IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi International), Air India informed the CCI that the merger will not negatively affect India’s competitive environment. In a second application, Tata Sons plans to merge its low-cost airlines Air India Express (IX, Mumbai International), and AirAsia India (I5, Bangalore International).

Air India runs 61 international routes and 79 domestic routes, according to statistics from ch-aviation PRO airlines. 52 domestic and 20 foreign routes are run by Vistara. Legal experts are quoted in India’s Economic Times as saying that the CCI will concentrate on the routes that both airlines fly on, looking at potential effects on competition and potential remedies.

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