Days after debt-ridden national carrier Air India failed to attract any bidders for its stake sale, government on Wednesday said a new plan is being worked out and the situation is being reviewed. The government will soon review a plan to sell stake in Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Wednesday. We are evaluating market conditions and considering an alternative mechanism for divesting the national carrier, said he. The government is totally committed to give financial support to Air India, he added.
Speaking on the same issue junior Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha said we are committed to the strategic disinvestment of Air India. However, the process for selling 76 per cent stake in the airline is over now, he said. Under the proposed plan, the government was to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India along with complete divestment of low-cost arm Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd — an equal joint venture with Singapore’s SATS.
India will soon review a plan to sell a stake in Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
On Tuesday, PTI had reported citing an unidentified government official that the government has dropped plans to sell majority stake in Air India for now as it may not be the right time to privatise the loss-making flag carrier in an election year.
The government is committed that Air India remains an independent, globally-competitive and a highly-successful airline, Jayant Sinha said. The government announced a plan in March to divest a 76-percent stake in Air India and offload about $5.1 billion of its debt, but prospective buyers stayed away, with some citing onerous terms as a reason for their lack of interest.