The government on Thursday officially handed over Air India to the Tata group. The Tata Group now takes full control of the iconic ‘Maharaja’.
The government has notified the agreement between Air India and special purpose vehicle AIAHL for the transfer of non-core assets.
The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India successfully concluded today with the transfer of 100 per cent shares of Air India to Talace Pvt Ltd along with management control. A new Board, led by the Strategic Partner, takes charge of Air India, Secretary, DIPAM stated.
Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said it is indeed noteworthy that the disinvestment process of Air India has been brought to a successful conclusion in a time-bound manner.
“This proves the govt’s ability, and the resolve to carry out disinvestment effectively in non-strategic sectors in the future. Best wishes to the new owners. I am confident that the airline will bloom under their wings, and pave the way for a thriving and robust civil aviation industry in India,” Scindia said.
Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said that the formalities have been completed and the Air India disinvestment transaction is closed.
The shares have been transferred to Talace and a consideration amount has been received, the DIPAM Secretary said.
The DIPAM Secretary said that Talace are the new owners as the entire Rs 2,700 crore has been received by the government.
“We have transferred shares. Entire Rs 15,300 crore of debt which was to be retained, has also been accepted. So all processes are completed,” he said.
Ministry of Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said that Tata group will have to retain 12,000 employees.
See list of in-flight changes as ‘Maharaja’ gets makeover
The immediate change that will be noticeable will be in the meal services offered on board Air India flights. India Today Television has learnt the airline is already enhancing its meal plans to ‘full’ for some sectors starting Thursday. The changes will be made across most sectors over time in a phased manner.
From today onwards, there will be changes in meal plans on Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Abu Dhabi, Mumbai-Bengaluru, Mumbai-Newark, and Mumbai-London routes.
Here are details of flights that will see the changes first:
On January 27 – AI 864 BOM-DEL, AI 687 BOM-DEL, AI 945 BOM-AUH, AI 639 BOM-BLR
On January 28 – AI 191 BOM-EWR, AI 806 BOM-DEL, AI 809 BOM-DEL, AI 660 BOM-DEL, AI 888 BOM-DEL, AI 867 BOM-DEL
On January 29 – AI 268 BOM-DEL and AI 131 BOM-LHR.
Sources said this meal up-gradation plan was made by Taj SATS, the Taj Group-led airline catering service.
Additionally, in a circular dated January 21, all cabin crew were informed that beverage service will have to be conducted as per standard operating procedure (SOP) before each major meal.
This would entail the use of service trolley for beverage service in First and Business classes, and bar carts with soft drink service in Economy class.
Crew have been specifically instructed to use high ball and wine glasses for serving beverages to Business and First class passengers.
Similarly, they have been told to use pre-set melamine cups for tea/coffee service in Economy class and porcelain cups in Business and First Classes.
The circular, a copy of which is in India Today Television’s possession, also highlighted that newspapers and magazines are to be offered to Business and First Class passengers ahead of take-off, and should be displayed in magazine racks in Economy class.
In communications sent out to all cabin crew on Wednesday, they were asked to be “smartly dressed, adhering to regulations”. “Cabin crew are important brand ambassadors playing a critical role in Brand/Image building,” read one such communication that India Today Television has seen.
The crew have been informed that ‘grooming associates’ will observe them for how they turn out.
Similarly, the airline management has highlighted that the role of the crew supervisor will be very important. “They will supervise/monitor the entire flight for safety standards and service quality provides to the guests,” it was informed.
It has been highlighted that passengers are to be addressed as “guests”.
Also, in the communications to crew, Air India management has highlighted that on-time performance is important. “All endeavours to close doors at D minus 10 mins,” read an internal note.