Friday, June 23, 2017

At least 3 airlines eyeing stake in Air India

At least three aviation companies, besides the Tata group, have shown an interest in acquiring a stake in the beleaguered national carrier Air India.

Sources close to the airline said that initial meetings had taken place with possible buyers, including the Tata group.

“After Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s interview to Doordarshan News in the last week of May saying the government is open to privatising the airline, three or four possible buyers – including the Tatas – have met with both the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” the source said.

BusinessLine could not independently confirm the names of the other suitors, and is therefore not disclosing their details, but among them are at least two international airlines.

“Nothing definite have emerged from these talks yet,” the source added. “Within the government itself, there are differing views about privatising Air India. We’ll have to wait for the Cabinet meeting next week to see which way the government wants to go.”

While Air India has a 105-strong fleet strength and deep international networks, it comes with aircraft-related debt of ₹20,000 crore and another ₹32,000 crore of working capital debt.
22/06/17 Tanya Thomas & Rajesh Kurup/The Hindu Business Line