The only gem that remained in India at the time when Britishers took everything in 1947 was Air India. The Air India is now back again to its origin, that is to the Tata Sons; they won the bid for the debt-ridden Air India.
Tata found Air India and that’s not just a business for them but one of the most prestigious things they ever had. The company Air India was taken by the sovereign government of India earlier.
Air India was launched around the 1930s and had its original name as Tata Air Services and later, Tata Airlines. The airline was founded by J R D Tata. He flew the first single-engine plane carrying the airmail from Karachi to Bombay. After the Independence, the government took the control of around 49% of the company in 1948. Tata Airlines was converted into a public limited company and was named Air India.
The government of India introduced the Air Corporation Act in 1953 and under that act, the government purchased the stake of the airlines from the Tata Sons in the majority but the founder continued as the chairman of the airlines. Meanwhile, the founder J R D Tata came up with the idea of a sister company for making their reach at the international level, the company was named Air India International. Air India International’s first flight took off in 1948 with the founder himself on board to London.
All these lead to the growing popularity of Air India and later a postal service that connected the four corners of India with Nagpur as the center, was proposed by the minister of communication, Mr. Rafi Ahmed Kidwal. For this idea, Nagpur was planned as the hub for overnight sorting but J R D Tata pointed out the facilities for the night landing, and that needed to be set up before the proposal was accepted but the government of India disagreed with this.
Later, to play the final shot for the company, J R D Tata came up with the proposal of separating two different companies for the domestic sector and another one for the international sector as he did not want to ruin the reputation of Indian Airlines outside the country, but Nehru and other officials did not listen to him.
The government spilled the water in the hard work of Tata; although it became a government department, the officials requested Tata’s help in the functioning and running of the airline company. The rightful compensation was not even paid to the Tata Sons by the Indian government for the airlines. Later, J R D Tata was honored by Rajendra Prasad, who used to be the President of that time, with the Padma Vibhushan Award and Prasad also praised Tata for his contribution in the sector of aviation and helping them secure a place in the world map of aviation in 1957.
When the Morarji Desai government came into power in 1978, he dropped J R D Tata from the directorship of Indian Airlines and also from the post of chairman of Air India. Later, J R D Tata was re-appointed as the board member for both the airlines when Indira Gandhi came into power. Soon, under the Air Corporation Law government took the command and the steady decline for the airline started as the government was not able to handle the department and that resulted in the debt of Air India. Now, Air India is back to its origin company, Tata Sons, who won the bid and now are the owners of the company again.