Monday, July 10, 2017

Joint ownership of AI with govt difficult proposition: IndiGo

New Delhi: Having a joint ownership with the government in Air India will be a “very very difficult proposition”, IndiGo’s founder Rakesh Gangwal said today.
While virtually ruling out the possibility of running Air India along with the government, he also cautioned that it would be a “Shakespearean tragedy” if the national carrier’s international assets go to a foreign entity.
Soon after the Cabinet gave its in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India, IndiGo expressed its interest to acquire the airline’s international operations as well as Air India Express.
In a detailed conference call with investors and analysts, Gangwal along with co-founder Rahul Bhatia provided their perspective on the bid for Air India and plans for low cost long haul international flights.
“Our view is that a joint venture or a joint ownership with the government is at best a very very difficult proposition and we would not go down that path.
“The government has owned and managed Air India for 50 years and is looking to divest of itself right now. One would even wonder if truly at the end of the day when the thinking is all done, whether the government itself would be interested in wanting a partnership,” Gangwal said.
Air India, which is surviving on taxpayers’ money, has a debt burden of more than Rs 52,000 crore.
09/07/17 PTI/