Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata shared an emotional note after the salt-to-software conglomerate was declared as the winner of Air India bid on October 8.
As the debt-ridden carrier returns to Tata fold after 68 years, Ratan Tata expressed rejoice over the homecoming moment by recalling Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, who in 1932 started Tata Airlines which became Air India in 1946.
"Mr. J.R.D Tata would have been overjoyed if he was in our midst today," he said.
"On an emotional note, Air India. under the leadership of Mr J.R.D Tata had, at one time, gained the reputation of being one of the most prestigious airlines in the world," Ratan Tata added.
"Tatas will have the opportunity of regaining the image and reputation it enjoyed in earlier years," he further said.
The Centre, after deliberating upon the bids received from a consortium headed by SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh and Tata Sons, declared the latter as the winner.
The Tatas had quoted an enterprise value of Rs 18,000 crore, which, DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said, was well above the reserve price set by the government.
According to Ratan Tata, the company will have to take "considerable effort" to manage the airline, which has a net debt of Rs 60,000 crore.
"While admittedly it will take considerable effort to rebuild Air India, it will hopefully provide a very strong market opportunity to the Tata Group's presence in the aviation industry," the 83-year-old former chief of Tata Sons said.
"We also need to recognize and thank the government for its recent policy of opening select industries to the private sector. Welcome back, Air india! (sic)," he added.