Promoters of no-frills airline IndiGo will discuss with investors this week its interest in buying Air India as well as the plans for long haul operations. Days after expressing its interest to buy out the debt- laden national carrier, IndiGo today said it would hold a conference call with investors and analysts to discuss the proposal on July 6. Run by InterGlobe Aviation, the airline operates more than 900 flights daily to destinations in India and overseas. The conference call is to discuss “IndiGo’s expression of interest in the privatisation of Air India as well as to discuss IndiGo’s plans and strategy regarding long haul international operations,” InterGlobe Aviation said in a filing to the stock exchanges.
The airline also said the call would be limited to the discussion on these topics and that questions on the current quarter outlook or its financial performance would not be addressed. IndiGo founders — Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal — would discuss the plans and strategy during the hour-long call, the filing added.
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Soon after the Cabinet gave its in-principle approval for Air India disinvestment on June 28, IndiGo evinced its interest to acquire the operations of the national carrier. In a letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry last week, IndiGo’s President and Whole Time Director Aditya Ghosh said it was keen on snapping up the international operations of Air India as well as its profitable low-cost arm Air India Express.
As an alternative, the budget carrier is “equally interested” in buying out all the operations of Air India and Air India Express, as per the letter. Even though Air India is in the red, it has lucrative tangible and intangible assets varying from aircraft to prime slots at major international airports. Besides, the airline has rights to fly to a large number of overseas destinations, including main American and European cities.
IndiGo, which started operations in August 2006, has the largest number of aircraft on order, with more than 450 to be delivered in coming years. Shares of InterGlobe Aviation jumped over 2 per cent to close at Rs 1,191.70 on BSE.