Vistara (UK, Delhi International) will be discontinued as a brand after its merger with Air India (AI, Delhi International), as the name of the flag carrier is much more recognisable outside India, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson told the news agency Press Trust of India. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) said it would invest a further SGD360 million Singapore dollars (USD268.5 million) in the merged entity.

As Tata Sons works on turning what will be India’s only full-service carrier into a significant and more reputable international player, efforts will be made to retain some of “the Vistara heritage in that new manifestation,” Wilson promised.

Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan indicated in January that his carrier would not place any fresh orders ahead of the merger. Vistara and Air India then said last week that they had initiated the merger process, with a completion deadline set for March 2024, subject to regulatory approvals. AIX Connect (I5, Bengaluru International), formerly AirAsia India, will be integrated with Air India Express (IX, Delhi International), both of them now being Tata-owned budget carriers.

“One full-service and one low-cost airline will be included in the group, respectively. Air India and Vistara will amalgamate to create the full-service airline,” Wilson confirmed to the news agency.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has already said it will have a 25.1% stake in the Air India group following the merger with Vistara. Having continued to funnel cash into propping up Vistara during the pandemic together with the Tata Sons conglomerate, it said in its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended December 31, 2022, released on February 21, that it would invest a further SGD360 million in Air India as part of the merger deal.

“The merged entity will be four to five times larger in scale compared to Vistara, with a strong presence in all key airline segments in India. The proposed merger will bolster SIA’s presence in India, strengthen its multi-hub strategy, and allow it to continue participating directly in this large and fast-growing aviation market,” the Singaporean flag carrier explained in the results.

It added: “Deeper collaboration with like-minded airlines is an integral part of the SIA Group’s partnerships strategy. This enables SIA and its partners to drive more traffic to their hubs, offer more options to customers, and increase the group’s global footprint.”