Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Government to sell AI, AI Express together

“The rationale is that we can find prospective buyers from international airlines if we call bids for Air India and Air India Express together. Since Alliance Air operates flights mainly on regional domestic routes, it makes more sense to sell it off separately,” a source added.

The decision was taken after the government held several rounds of backchannel talks with prospective buyers of Air India and its subsidiaries.

Sources said the government met firms involved in MRO, ground handling and airline operations to examine whether all the subsidiaries should be sold off together or calling for separate set of bidders would increase Air India’s valuation.

Till now, low-cost airline IndiGo has formally expressed interest in mainly buying Air India’s international operations, including Air India Express which flies to various airports in the Gulf, Middle East and South East Asia predominantly from Kerala. IndiGo co-founders have said that though it has been eyeing Air India’s international operations since “day one”, it would still be interested if the government sells Air India’s entire airline operations to a single entity.

While Turkey’s Celebi Aviation Holding and Delhi-based Bird Group have shown interest in Air India’s ground handling arm, India’s oldest private MRO firm AirWorks is keen on buying AIESL. Without revealing names, officials at the Civil Aviation Ministry said other airlines, both domestic and international, are also keen to bid for Air India’s airline operations.
01/11/17 The Hindua

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