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From 1932 – 2022, Here Are The Historical Moments Of Air India In The Last 70 Years

| Published on January 30, 2022

In one of the most historical events of the country, Tata Sons has taken over Air India once again. The Indian government has been trying to sell the airline for more than two decades. Deep down with losses and to raise funds, it finally succeeded in its bid in October last year.

Tata Sons emerged as the winning bidder for the national carrier after quoting an enterprise value of ₹18,000 crores. The government is set to face a loss of ₹28,844 crores after selling the debt-laden carrier. Since the announcement, this news has been making rounds on social media more so often.

28 January marked the first day after the formal takeover of Air India by the Tata Group which gave a lot more buzz and excitement on social media. The quint recently shared the announcement that the pilots made that day marking the beginning of a new era after seven decades.

Let us take a look at the historic journey Air India has had in the last seven decades and how it became a part of Tata once again.


Air India was founded in the year 1932 by JRD Tata as Tata Airlines. Tata himself flew its first single-engine de Havilland Puss Moth, carrying air mail from Karachi’s Drigh Road Aerodrome to Bombay’s Juhu aerodrome and later continuing to Madras (currently Chennai).


After World War II, the airlines became a public limited company and was renamed ‘Air India’.


After Indian independence in 1947, 49% of the airline was acquired by the Government of India in 1948.

1948 – 1950

From 1948 to 1950, the airline introduced services to Nairobi in Kenya and to major European destinations Rome, Paris, and Düsseldorf.


In 1953, the Government of India passed the Air Corporations Act and purchased a majority stake in the carrier from Tata Sons. Its founder J. R. D. Tata continued to serve as the Chairman till 1977.


In 1960, Air India International inducted its first Boeing 707-420, becoming the first Asian airline to enter the Jet Age. Later that year, inaugurated services to New York.


On 11 June 1962, Air India became the world’s first all-jet airline.


In 1990, Air India helped to evacuate 170,000 people from Kuwait before the First Gulf War. This made Airline enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people evacuated by a civil airliner.


Air India took delivery of a Boeing 747-400 named Konark (registered VT-ESM) and operated the first non-stop flight between New York and Delhi


Air India launches its website, www.airindia.com. In the same year, a major global alliance tied Air India and Air France together.

2000 – 2001

In 2000–01, several attempts were made to re-privatize Air India.


n May 2004, Air India launched a low-cost subsidiary called Air-India Express connecting cities in India with the Middle East and Southeast Asia.


Before 2007 Air India operated on international long-haul routes while Indian Airlines operated on domestic and international short-haul routes. It was in 2007, Air India and Indian Airlines were merged under Air India Limited.

Later that year, the airline was invited to be a part of the Star Alliance.


In May 2012, the carrier invited offers from banks to raise up $800 million via external commercial borrowing and bridge financing


In 2013, the then-Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh stated privatization was the key to the airline’s survival. However, the opposition led by the BJP and the CPI(M) slammed the government.


Air India became the 27th member of Star Alliance on 11 July 2014.


The Government of India approved the privatization of Air India and a committee was set up to start the process.


The Government issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) to sell a 76% stake of Air India, along with low-cost airline Air India Express, and a 50% stake of AISATS, a ground handling joint venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS).


Having failed on previous occasions to sell the airline, the Government decided to sell a 100% share of the airline and started its preparation in late-2019.


In September 2021, the government issued fresh tenders for selling the airlines, where Spice Jet’s Ajay Singh-led consortium and Tata Sons showed interest in the bid.

Finally, on 8 October 2021, Air India, along with its low-cost carrier Air India Express and fifty percent of AISATS, a ground handling company, was sold for ₹18,000 crores (US$2.4 billion) to Talace Private Limited, a Tata Sons’ subsidiary.


On 27 January 2022, the airline was officially handed over to Tata Group.

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