Air India is offering 97.9 Crore shares to employees under a stock option plan

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An Air India official told PTI that about 8,000 workers will benefit from the scheme.

Mumbai/New Delhi:

Air India has offered about 98 crore shares of the company to its permanent employees as part of a stock option plan.

The shares are also being offered to Air India Express permanent staff as part of the Employees’ Share Benefit (ESB) Scheme 2022, according to a document.

The Tata group took control of Air India and Air India Express from the government on 27 January 2022.

An airline official told PTI that about 8,000 employees will benefit from the scheme.

“In accordance with the share purchase agreement signed as part of the divestment process, Air India has initiated the Employee Share Benefit Scheme for eligible employees who were employed by the airline at the date of privatization.

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“We will work with relevant employees to help them understand and take advantage of the long-term benefits,” an Air India spokesperson said in a statement.

Those who at the time of the acquisition were permanent employees of the two airlines – Air India and Air India Express – are eligible to participate in the scheme under which the share is offered at a price of 27 paise each, according to the document to sent to the staff.

A source said the price is a discount to its book value of 87-90 paise per share at the time of acquisition.

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An employee trust has been established for the implementation of the ESB scheme.

“The company has authorized the trust to offer ESB benefits on not more than three percent of the company stock purchased by Talace i.e. 97,99,56,600 to the eligible employees from time to time, in one or more installments acquired by Talace’s trust for zero monetary consideration.

“The trust will hold the ESB shares to provide the ESB benefit to the eligible employees upon payment of the aggregate exercise price together with all applicable taxes and amounts…,” the document said.

Talace, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, acquired Air India, Air India Express and the government’s 50 percent stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd.

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“..any eligible employee who retires on or after January 27, 2022, shall be considered a qualifying employee and entitled to benefits in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions of this plan,” the document said.

An Air India Express source said the airline has about 1,600 employees, the majority of whom are contract staff. It has about 300 pilots on permanent duty, the source added.

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