CEO Wilson hints Air India – Vistara merger might complete by late 2024

Air India and Vistara are the only two remaining full-service airlines in India, and the eventual fate, as announced in 2022, is that they will be merged into one. However, since then, this has led to a specific fear or disappointment amongst Vistara loyalists, who hope for this merger not to go through. Vistara and Air India managements have tried to appease those loyalists by telling them that the two airlines might only be combined once Air India meets the same standards as Vistara.

Air India’s CEO talks about the merger to Bloomberg

The deal structure offers Singapore Airlines a 25.1% share in the combined Air India entity in exchange for its 49% interest in Vistara and a cash investment of approximately USD 250 million. While the date of the merger was announced as March 2024, the actual timeline to receive all clearances and comply with all conditions precedent is October 2024, when everything needs to be closed out, or else the merger might fail to proceed.

two airplanes on the runway

Air India’s CEO, Campbell Wilson, recently headed to Singapore for a keynote at the Aviation Festival Singapore and talked to Bloomberg about the merger timelines on the sidelines. He mentioned that the airline has clearance from all the countries where the two airlines overlap (such as India, UAE, Germany, and so on), except for the clearance from Singapore.  As an aside, there will be the need for another hearing from the Indian regulator (I presume he is talking NCLT) before the merger can be effected.

You can have a look at the Bloomberg TV interview here. But what Wilson implies is that he hopes the merger can be effected later in the year. Hearing him speak implies that the legal merger of the two entities (Tata SIA and Air India Limited) will happen, allowing the company to move people into new roles. At the moment, people have to resign from one entity to be able to take on a role at the other company. Vistara’s CEO Vinod Kannan has previously implied that the two entities might receive the legal clearances between March and October 2024.

Vistara and Air India’s situation will be akin to the current Air India Express/ AIX Connect (AirAsia India), where there is one customer-facing brand but two airlines operating at the back end with codes I5 and IX. Eventually, there will be a merger of the two entities, followed by a merger of the two Air Operators Certificates.

Eventually, achieving this timeline is excellent news for Air India, Vistara, and the Tata Group. Also, it looks very doable now that Wilson has clarified that many of the steps have been completed, and there are only two major steps to close the merger. I fully expect a press release to quietly slip into my inbox one of these days announcing that the deal is done.


The Air India – Vistara merger is on track, with the Air India group awaiting clearance from the Singapore competition regulator and then a hearing with the Indian NCLT to permit the merger to go through. As per Air India’s CEO, the merger should be expected to be closed within 2024.

What do you think of the timeline of the merger of Air India and Vistara?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Oh man, I am mostly worried about my precious club vistara tiers and benefits will go away once it merges with Air India as they have specified it will move to star alliance. All the credit cards and benefits will go away similiar to SBI Air India cards. Hopefully the indian system will delay it further to atleast a year more so that I can enjoy the benefits properly

  2. Things are going in full swing in the back end. My Air India booking in visible in my Vistara app which was surprising at first but now makes sense.

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