Speaking about the recent disinvestment of Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that a 69-year-old “wrong step” of nationalisation of private airlines has been corrected. Speaking about Tata Group acquiring Air India, Scindia said “We’ll have a player with tremendous capabilities for int’l & domestic traffic – a party that probably has a game plan & strategy to ensure best value for our customers.”
Scindia termed the acquisition as a win-win for the Indian aviation industry “It’ll be a win-win position for all stakeholders in this industry”. Tata Group, on January 27, took the handover of the debt-ridden national carrier after placing winning bid last year. On October 8, the government confirmed the sale of Air India to Tata Group, also the founder of Air India.
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (JRD) Tata founded the airline in 1932 and in 1946, the aviation division of Tata Sons was listed as Air India. In 1953, Air India was nationalised and was split into two – a domestic airline and an international carrier.
When the Jawaharlal Nehru nationalised Air India, JRD fought vehemently against it. “From the first airmail service flight from Karachi to Bombay in October 1932 with JRD steering a Puss Moth aircraft to wresting control of Air India 89 years later, the conglomerate has had a roller coaster ride in the Indian civil aviation history,” writes a news agency.
“It is said that Tata group executives used to complain in private that JRD — the pioneer of the Indian aviation industry — spent more time worrying about Air India than the Tata group when he was heading both the entities. Nevertheless, they also knew heading Air India as Chairman was never just a job but was a labour of love to him,” PTI reported on the founder’s passion for Air India.
With input from agencies