After Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi led NDA government put loss-making national carrier Air India on the block, rumours about who will eventually end up buying it have spread like wildfire. However, Muscat-based Oman Air has rushed to clarify that it is not going to be one of them. Airliner said that it has no plans to purchase Air India and instead, it will focus on its own business strategies for growth. “The airline had no intention to bid for Air India or any of its wings”, Gulf carrier’s CEO Paul Gregorowitsch told PTI. “Muscat-based airline would prefer to focus on a strategy different from other Gulf carriers, he added. Gulf airlines operating in the Asia Pacific region usually work on similar strategies to lure passengers, but Oman wants to change the track. The decision to privatise debt-ridden Air India was taken by Union Cabinet after the government think tank NITI Aayog proposed its complete privatisation. Currently, the national carrier is being operated with a debt of Rs 52,000 crore. Addressing a press meet in New Delhi Gregorowitsch left the participation in Air India bidding to Indian companies. “You never say no but if you ask me today if I would write a cheque to participate in (the bidding for) Air India, (I would say) we leave this to the priority of other Indian carriers,” he said.
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Commenced operations on 29 July 1946, Air India is running under loss on both domestic and international front but after government’s decision to sell it, the low-cost carrier IndiGo had expressed interest in buying the international arm of Air India or the entire flight operations of it, in the case of possibility.