Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Domestic airlines, foreign carriers interested in Air India: Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri

The civil aviation sector in India woke up to a busy Monday morning on January 27 as the union government invited preliminary bids to sell 100 percent stake in the flag carrier Air India, the largest international player among Indian carriers.

The government has also invited preliminary bids for 100 percent stake in Air India Express and Air India's entire 50 percent stake in ground handling company AISATS.

This is the second attempt at divestment of Air India. In 2018, the government had invited bids for 76 percent stake in Air India but got no takers in the preliminary round itself.

The government is hopeful of different results in this round with the airline being offered with a reduced debt burden and relaxations provided in net worth criteria from Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 3,500 crore and lock-in period brought down to one year from three years earlier.

While the official enquiry window has opened from today, union aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interaction that domestic airlines, overseas carriers and private entities have expressed informal interest in buying Air India.

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