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CCI seeking more info on AI-Vistara merger ‘normal’: CEO

Air India chief Campbell Wilson welcomed the Competition Commission of India’s move (CCI) seeking more information on the airline’s proposed merger with Vistara and said it is a “normal and important part of the evaluation process”.

The CCI has asked for more details with respect to the proposed merger, which was announced in November 2022, and approval from the regulator was sought in April this year. Under the competition law, the regulator has the power to carry out a detailed probe before approving a merger or acquisition in case there are concerns about possible anti-competitive practices in the deal.

“You may have recently read that the Competition Commission of India has asked for more information regarding our proposal to merge with Vistara. We welcome this request, which is a normal and important part of the evaluation process,” Wilson told employees in his weekly message on Friday. While that runs its proper course, the CEO and Managing Director also said Air India continues to make progress on the integration of its low-cost airlines.

Air India Express and AIX Connect (earlier known as AirAsia India) are in the process of being merged. Wilson also said that progress is also being made in “planning for an eventual end state where the Air India group has a single, much large full-service carriers and a single (also much larger) low-cost airline, with aligned practices, optimised systems and career prospects across the combined entity”.

“Transitioning from a PSU structure to a private sector model whilst at the same time bringing erstwhile and new Air Indians into a common grade and compensation framework, and preparing the ground for potential integration with Vistara, is not simple process,” Wilson said.

 

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