Friday, July 28, 2017

Government may prefer another airline as Air India buyer

New Delhi: The government may prefer that an airline acquires Air India even if it means selling the domestic and international operations separately, senior officials said. “We also want continuity for the existing staff which could only happen if it is being taken over by another airline,” said one of them.

The government may prefer that an airline acquires Air India even if it means selling the domestic and international operations separately, senior officials said. “We also want continuity for the existing staff which could only happen if it is being taken over by another airline,” said one of them.

While IndiGo has said it may be interested in Air India’s international business, there have been reports that some private equity investors had been eyeing a possible stake-sale process. The Tata Group, which has stakes in Vistara and AirAsia India, has also been mentioned as a possible suitor.

Analysts said the government shouldn’t seek to keep out potential bidders, given the state of the carrier.

“The government should not limit its options to just airlines as anyone who understands the aviation business will be able to run it,” said Mark Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Consulting.
28/07/17 Dheeraj Tiwari/Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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