Competition authority of India has granted a green signal to Air India regarding a case filed by a former pilot against the merger of the airline with Vistara. Lets look at the details of the case.
Air India Vistara merger
Last year, TATA Group announced that it has decided to merge both Air India and Vistara. TATA Group owns 100% of Air India and 51% stake of Vistara. Post merger, Singapore International Airlines will own 25.1% stake in merged entity. Currently, SIA is a 49& stakeholder in Vistara.
In August this year, Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the merger of both airlines and allowed the Singaporean flag carrier to get a minority stake in merged entity. Following this, a former pilot of Air India named Deepak Kumar lodged a complaint against the airline in the Competition Commission of India. The complainant put some allegations on the airline which showed anti-competitive behaviour by merging companies. Hence, CCI started looking into it.
The complaint filed by Deepak Kumar was more centralised upon the bad practices of Air India. He said that the airline has been involved in tampering his service records under the guise of consolidation. He accused the airline of forming a cartel during the bidding process so that Singapore International Airlines, which wanted a stake in Air India could succeed.
Kumar claimed that this process of merger had an adverse impact on his career and his service records.
Additionally, he put some allegations of criminal nature against some people involved in actions against him within Air India.
Allegations are serious but so should be the evidence. The Competition Commission of India rejected the claims of former pilot Deepak Kumar because of lack of substantial evidence. He was not able to prove that how this merger has tampered with his career path. CCI noted that there is an internal company dispute between the airline and Deepak Kumar, which does not come under the jurisdiction of Competition authority. Also, CCI ruled out any cartel forming and bid rigging claims from the pilot.
Featured Image credit : “VT-AND Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (cn 36278/29) Air India.” by Andrew Thomas, Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Source : Business Line