Air India CEO Campbell Wilson has said that the integration of Air India and Vistara needs to go through a regulatory approval process.
During a virtual media interaction on Monday, Wilson talked about the proposed Air India and Vistara merger and the future plans for Air India.
He explained that there are three steps to that process, one is competition clearance, the second is the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) perspective and the third is obviously the merger of the two companies.
"We are in the process of the first phase seeking clearance from the Competition Commission of India but in anticipation of this we are working together with some external parties to work on what are the areas of opportunity in an integrated business, what are the things that we need to focus on in the process of that integration and what would the end State look like once we have received clearance to actually embark on the integration process," he said.
He added that the intention is to end up with one full-service airplane and one low-cost airline in the group.
Campbell about A350s
'It's about US$ 70 Bn (list prices of the order)...We have six A350s coming in later this year with also our brand-new product...We should see the first aircraft into service, June-July of 2024', he said about the record order for 470 aircraft.
"I can say with a lot of confidence that by the second half of 2024, with these new aircraft, with the refurbishment of aircraft, it will be a very different experience when you fly Air India wide-body", he added.
Air India and Vistara amalgamation
The full-service Airline will be an amalgamation of Air India and Vistara, but Air India expects that many of the practices and systems will be those of Vistara.
"We are not unaware of what they have in terms of systems and processes and so over the course of the privatization process and the last year a lot of the transformation that we've been doing at Air India has been with the view to put ourselves on a similar platform as the Vistara so that in the event the merger is approved it's a much more seamless and faster process," he said.
"Vistara has a very strong recognition in the Indian market but if you look outside the Indian market, clearly Air India is much more recognised and has a 90-year history... the future full-service carrier will be called Air India but we would like to retain and celebrate some of the Vistara heritage in that new manifestation," he said.
Airbus and Boeing
Earlier this month, Air India, in a historic deal, announced it will buy 250 aircraft from Airbus and has also selected Boeing for the purchase of up to 290 planes as part of its growth strategy.
Air India was looking for a mix of aircraft to boost their domestic and international network through recent orders. The airline announced it was aiming for a historic order not long after the airline was divested.
Air India's privatisation was completed on January 27, 2022. 100% of Air India's shares and 50% of its joint venture, AISATS, have been divested.
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