Tata Sons has gone to the Competition Comission of India (CCI) to seek approval for the merger of Air India (AI, Delhi International) and Vistara (UK, Delhi International). The CCI is expected to take around two months to make a decision, after which India's National Company Law Tribunal must green light the merger, while competition authorities in markets both airlines fly to, including Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the UAE, must also okay the proposal.

"The proposed transaction relates to consideration of the merger of Tata Singapore Airlines Limited (Vistara) into Air India and the acquisition of shares in the merged entity by Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) and Tata Sons," the notice filed with the CCI read. Singapore Airlines currently owns a 49% stake in Vistara. The merger will see the airline exchange that for a 25.1% shareholding in the enlarged Air India entity. Air India told the CCI that the merger will not adversely impact India's competitive environment given that they will have an expected 25.3% domestic market share compared to the 56.8% market share held by market leader IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi International). Tata Sons also intends to merge its low-cost carriers, Air India Express (IX, Delhi International) and AirAsia India (Bengaluru International), which will be subject to a separate application.

According to ch-aviation PRO airlines data, Air India operates on 79 routes within India and 61 international routes. Vistara operates on 52 domestic and 20 international routes. India's Economic Times cites legal analysts saying that the CCI will focus on routes both airlines fly on, examining what impact this might have on competition and what steps could be taken to alleviate this.