Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Emirates is not interested in Air India but is excited about its code share with SpiceJet

The Indian government is keen on selling its stake in Air India and the process may kick off by October .
Yet, suitors are not lining up for the debt-ridden airline even as government uncharacteristically relinquishing 100% of its control.
 Amidst hectic parleys in the corridors of power, Emirates, owned by the government in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has ruled out the possibility of a bid for Air India.
 "We are not looking at it. We are more focussed on seeing how we can grow better organically," Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, the Vice President of India and Nepal, said in a conversation with Business Insider.
 There are heated debates underway in many forums on whether Air India should be fully privatised. Should the buyer for the national carrier should be Indian or foreign? A few sections of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government seem keen to find the best possible price for the ailing Air India, but the BJP's ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has a clear stand against selling the airline to a foreign peer.
Cashing out of Air India is important for the Narendra Modi government looking to garner enough money to invest in more productive ventures that may speed up the economic growth, which recently hit a six-year low of 5% between April and June 2019. The fact that the debt-ridden airline-- ?55 000 crore at last count-- may reportedly clock a profit, for the first time in a decade, may have helped the sale after many failed attempts in the past. However, the sale of Air India has been a political and an emotional issue, which the Emirates has steered clear of.
04/09/19 Sriram Iyer/Business Insider
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