New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Tata Sons regained control of Air India on Friday - nearly 70 years after its nationalisation - as the salt-to-software conglomerate won the bid for the debt-laden state-run airline. The conglomerate placed a winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore to re-acquire the airline after so many years.

The former chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata welcomed back Air India by posting an old photograph of the company's former chairman JRD Tata getting down from an Air India aircraft. Along with the post the Indian philanthropist also penned down an emotional note on the journey of Air India.

"On an emotional note, Air India, under the leadership of Mr JRD Tata had, at one time, gained the reputation of being one of the most prestigious airlines in the world. Tatas will have the opportunity of regaining the image and reputation it enjoyed in earlier years. Mr JRD Tata would have been overjoyed if he was in our midst today," Ratan Tata said in the statement he tweeted.

Here's a brief history of the loss-making airline:

Air India was founded in 1932 under the name Tata Airlines by family scion and aviation enthusiast Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata.

October 8, 2021 - Indian government announces Tata Sons as the winning bidder for its 100 per cent stake in Air India, after the
conglomerate bid 180 billion rupees ($2.40 billion).

September 15, 2021 - India's finance ministry says Air India has received financial bids from Tata Sons and Ajay Singh, promoter of budget airline SpiceJet.

October 29, 2020 - The government gets two bids after extending the deadline several times.

August 7, 2020 - At least 17 people are killed and more than 100 injured after a plane belonging to budget arm Air India Express overshoots the runway near a southern Indian city.

January 27, 2020 - India renews push to sell the stake.

December 12, 2019 - The government decides to sell 100 per cent of its stake after failing to find takers for its offer of 76 per cent and full debt of the company. Provides flexible debt assumption terms.

June 20, 2018 - India shelves a plan to sell a 76 per cent stake due to lack of interest from bidders.

May 31, 2018 - India's offer to sell a stake in Air India fails to attract a single bidder by the deadline, with potential buyers citing onerous conditions.

March 28, 2018 - India plans to sell a controlling stake, along with roughly $5.1 billion of the carrier's debt.

April 2012 - India approves a $5.8 billion bailout for Air India, which was to be received by 2020.

July 2009 - Appoints State Bank of India to prepare a roadmap for the airline's recovery after years of losses under state control and emergence of new players.

1953 - Air-India nationalised; splits into two - a domestic airline and an international carrier.

1946 - Tata Airlines converted into a public company and renamed Air-India Ltd. In the same year, the airline adopts its widely recognised 'Maharaja' mascot.

1932 - Air India founded by JRD Tata as Tata Airlines, India's first airline. It operated only domestic flights at that time.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha