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Tata group to acquire Air India

The Indian government has agreed the sale of flag-carrier Air India to the Mumbai-based multinational Tata Group in a $2.4 billion deal.

The loss-making carrier will change hands for $368 million, with Tata taking on $2 billion of Air India’s $8.2 billion debt.

The government will hold the remaining debts.

The sale is due to be completed by the end of the year following a lengthy privatisation process, with

the previous attempt at a sale in 2018 failing to attract a bidder as the government sought to retain a 26% stake.

Air India is reported to be losing $2.6 million a day and to have cost the government more than

$14 billion since 2009.

Air India has a fleet of 141 aircraft and 13,500 employees, who have been promised a year’s job security.

The carrier was originally established by Tata in the 1930s and named Tata Airlines before being nationalised in 1953.

It enjoyed a domestic monopoly until 1991 but today carries less than 12% of India’s domestic passenger traffic.

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