The merger of Vistara and Air India has been approved by India's antitrust regulator

On Friday, India's antitrust body granted approval for the merger of Air India, which is owned by the Tata Group, with sister airline Vistara. However, the approval is subject to the carriers complying with the voluntary commitments they made. 


There are concerns within the industry about a duopoly, with IndiGo and a merged Air India-Vistara controlling over 75% of the domestic market. Meanwhile, smaller rivals like SpiceJet and Go First are struggling to compete. In November, Tata announced that it would merge Air India and Vistara, which is a joint venture between Tata and Singapore Airlines. 


The aim is to create a larger airline that can compete with local rivals such as IndiGo, and also challenge Middle Eastern carriers that dominate outbound traffic from India. Previously, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had raised concerns about market domination on certain routes and categories, such as business class travel, by the merged entity. 

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Air India CEO Campbell Wilson had reportedly held talks with India's antitrust head about the merger after the watchdog expressed its concerns. On Friday, the regulator approved the deal, but only if the airlines comply with their voluntary commitments. The details of these commitments have not been disclosed.

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