Thursday, October 07, 2021

Can't talk of AI bid; its brand will be restored to previous glory after privatisation: SpiceJet CMD

A "healthy" Air India is good for the entire country and its brand would slowly be restored to its previous glory after its privatisation by the government, SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh has said.

When asked by PTI if he has bid for Air India in his personal capacity, Singh replied: "Well, you know, we have a confidentiality agreement with the government. So, I can't really speak about the Air India bid."

According to sources, financial bids put in by Singh and the Tata group for the debt-laden Air India were opened last month and were vetted by 'Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment' -- which is headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba -- on September 29.

On October 1, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) - the government department responsible for privatisation -- said on Twitter that the Centre is yet to approve the financial bids for Air India and media would be informed whenever it happens.

When Singh was asked on how he sees the Indian aviation market after the takeover of Air India by a private entity, he responded: "It is hypothetical but of course a healthy Air India is good for the entire country and we believe that with the takeover or the privatisation of Air India, it will be a healthier airline and the brand of Air India would slowly be restored to the glorious brand it was."

"It is very important for India that we have a flag carrier which is well regarded around the world," he said on Monday.

07/10/21 PTI/Economic Times

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