Air India Privatisation Unlikely to Conclude this Fiscal

Privatisation of Air India may spill into next fiscal year as the divestment process is unlikely to conclude in the remaining a little over three months of 2020-21, an official said. Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group and US-based fund Interups Inc were among “multiple” entities that put in preliminary bids last week for buying Air India.

The government is selling its entire 100 per cent stake in Air India that has been in losses ever since its 2007 merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines. The stake sale process got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government has extended five times the deadline to submit preliminary bids for the national carrier.

The airline, which started as a mail carrier in 1932, will give the successful bidder control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 slots at airports overseas. Besides, the bidder would also get 100 per cent of the low-cost arm Air India Express and 50 per cent of AISATS, which provides cargo and ground handling services at major Indian airports.