Thursday, October 21, 2021

Air India divestment will re-energise civil aviation sector, says PM Modi

Lucknow :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the divestment of Air India would re-energise domestic civil aviation.

“The country has taken a big decision with regards to Air India for ensuring that the civil aviation sector functions professionally while providing safety and passenger amenities,” Modi said, addressing a ceremony after inaugurating the Kushinagar International Airport in Kushinagar district of Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier this month, the diversified Tata Group had emerged as the successful bidder of the Air India divestment process. Tata group’s holding company Tata Sons, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Talace Private Limited, had submitted the winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore as the enterprise value of the national carrier.

Post acquisition, the Tatas will own a 100 per cent stake in Air India (a full-service airline operating in domestic, international markets) as also 100 per cent in its subsidiary Air India Express (a low-cost carrier airline for short-haul international operations, especially in West Asia geography), and 50 per cent in joint venture Air India SATS (airport services on ground and cargo handling).

Without explicitly referring to the Tata Group, the PM underlined that the decision pertaining to Air India would inject fresh energy into the domestic civil aviation landscape. “A similar decision has been taken to open domestic defence airspace for civil use, which has led to the curtailment of the distance and travel time on several air routes.”

Meanwhile, referring to the fast pace of Covid-19 vaccinations in India, he said that it would evoke confidence among foreign tourists by bolstering India’s image as a “vaccinated country” and thus safe for travelling.

21/10/21 Virendra Singh Rawat/Business Standard

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