Friday, December 03, 2021

After Air India, Centre likely to complete sale of its ground handling unit

After the successful sale of Air India, the government is also likely to successfully complete the sale of the carrier's ground handling unit, with foreign ground handling companies such as Swissport also looking to bid for the company.

"AIATSL (Air India Air Transport Services Ltd) is definitely a good opportunity for us and one that we want to explore. AIATSL has operationally been very strong and competent and a profitable company. So, for us, it definitely is one we would like to have a potential partnership with," Brad Moore, Managing Director, Swissport Australasia, told ET.

The company is also talking to a couple of existing ground handling companies for a possible joint venture for India entry that includes getting into cargo handling at Bengaluru airport as well as the upcoming Jewar airport.

"Overall, the sector here is very mature and competent and we are looking at the right partner or partners to make sure we have the right presence and value in India," Moore added.

AIATSL has a lot of interest from existing ground handling companies in India since acquisition of AIATSL will make the acquiring company the largest in India.

"For us, the AIATSL acquisition, if that happens, will give us the much-needed push in terms of business at 75 airports, including 35 international facilities," Kishore Ganesh, head of business development at Swissport APAC, told ET.

The government recently sold 100% stake in Air India to the Tata Group and also has plans to sell its ground handling, engineering and regional airline subsidiaries.

03/12/21 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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