Confirming discussions “in relation to the securities of Vistara and Air India” in a stock market announcement on 13 October, SIA says it is seeking “to deepen the existing partnership between SIA and Tata”, stating that this may include “a potential integration of Vistara and Air India”.
Tata holds a 51% stake in Indian full-service carrier Vistara, with SIA holding the remaining 49%, in a joint venture that was established in 2013. There has been speculation about Vistara’s future since Tata took control of flag carrier Air India in January this year.
Discussions on Vistara’s future are continuing and no agreement has been reached, SIA says.
Cirium fleets data shows Vistara has a fleet of around 54 aircraft, dominated by Airbus narrowbodies but also featuring two Boeing 787-9s, while Air India’s mainline operation has 124 aircraft, of which around 40 are widebody jets.
SIA describes its stake in India’s “fast-growing aviation sector” as an “integral part of the SIA Group’s multi-hub strategy, allowing it to get access to important sources that complement its strong Singapore hub”.
In September, Tata Group said Air India, Air India Express and AirAsia India – in which Tata is also the majority shareholder – would be co-located in a bid to promote collaboration, amid reports that it will eventually combine the latter two operators into a single low-cost unit, with Air India and Vistara eventually combining at the premium end of the market.