The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has requested further information about the proposed merger of Air India and Vistara. According to Air India CEO Campbell Wilson, this is a “normal and important part of the evaluation process.”
The proposed merger was first reported in November 2022, and regulatory permission was requested in April of this year. The CCI has requested more information regarding the merger. The regulator is empowered under the competition law to conduct a thorough investigation before authorising a merger or acquisition if there are concerns about potential anti-competitive practises in the transaction.
You may have noticed that the Indian Competition Commission has requested further details about our proposed merger with Vistara. Wilson said in his weekly message to colleagues on Friday, “We appreciate this request, which is a typical and significant component of the review process. The CEO and Managing Director further stated that Air India continues to make progress with the integration of its low-cost airlines as long as that runs its rightful course.
The merger of Air India Express and AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India) is now taking place. The planning for “an eventual end state where the Air India group has a single, much larger full-service carriers and a single (also much larger) low-cost airline, with aligned practises, optimised systems and career prospects across the combined entity” is also progressing, according to Wilson.
“It is not an easy process,” Wilson said, “to transition from a PSU structure to a private sector model while at the same time bringing erstwhile and new Air Indians into a common grade and compensation framework, and laying the groundwork for potential integration with Vistara.”