Saturday, August 01, 2020

Will not extend bids deadline for Air India beyond August 31, says Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi: Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday (August 1) told ET Now that that the government wants to sell Air India as a commercially viable going concern and will not extend bids deadline beyond August 31.

Talking about the steps that the government has been taking to make the national carrier commercially viable, Puri said: "So, if you curtail expenditure and make it an economically viable lean organization it is more attractive to buyers. And, there is enough interest."

"India and Air India are a sui generis case. We have today the world's third-largest civil aviation market. We are going to be the third-largest market in a few year's time. How many countries do you have which have a footfall of 435 million passengers? We have just a 7 per cent penetration and we were at one stage registering a 17 per cent of growth in pre-covid times.

Puri further said that entities have shown interest in Air India. Giving further details, he said that a combination of people have shown interest. "There is a fair amount of interest. And, even during Covid there are people outside. Now, that you can have 100 per cent FDI in the aviation space," he added.
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