Government to go ahead with Air India’s strategic divestment
Tata Group, which runs two JV airlines in India, IndiGo and Jet Airways, is among the Indian carriers who may bid for Air India. Some foreign airlines have also expressed interest informally.
The government will push ahead with the stake sale in Air India and hopes to wrap up the transaction by June, said a TOI report citing government sources.
As per the report, the Union Cabinet gave an in-principle approval for Air India's strategic disinvestment in June last year and a panel of ministers headed by FM Arun Jaitley is now devising the strategy for executing the sale.
Tata Group, which runs two JV airlines in India, IndiGo and Jet Airways, is among the Indian carriers who may bid for Air India. Some foreign airlines have also expressed interest informally, the report said.
"Transaction advisers have been appointed. We will complete the process by June," said an official to TOI, who did not wish to be identified. The latest comments come against the backdrop of a move by a Parliamentary panel, which is likely to recommend that Air India be given five years to revive and its debt be written off.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on transport, tourism and culture has concluded that the government should review its decision to privatise or disinvest Air India and explore the possibility of "an alternative to disinvestment of our national carrier which is our national pride", a news agency has reported.
The government is mulling several options to deal with the huge pile of debt of the airline.
According to estimates, AI has debt of around Rs 60,000 crore, which includes around Rs 21,000 crore of aircraft-related loan and around Rs 8,000 crore working capital loan.