The government sells all of its 100% stake in Air India, which has been at a loss since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007.
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country may delay the government’s divestment plan for national carrier Air India, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin said on Wednesday. Kanta Pandey.
The government sells its entire 100% stake in Air India, which has suffered losses since its merger with the domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007. The successful bidder would also obtain 100% of the capital of the low-cost branch Air India Express and 50 percent in AISATS, which provides cargo and ground handling services at major Indian airports.
The due diligence process is currently underway and “there might be a bit of a time lag,” Mint said citing Pandey. The government planned to complete the divestment of the airline by September of this year.
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“There’s also the element of physical inspection that can be involved, in terms of assets. Some international movement of facilitation in terms of travel may also be necessary. As long as the process (due diligence) is ongoing, there might be other technical inspection processes that should be organized under this current scenario. So it’s a very dynamic scenario, ”said Pandey, quoted by the publication.
According to media reports, Tata Group and SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh are the bidders who have been shortlisted for the Air India divestment.
Pandey said only bidders who qualified will go ahead for the remainder of the transaction. The government plans to complete the divestment of the airline in fiscal year 2021-2022. However, if the ongoing COVID-19 wave continues for a long time, it can cause obstacles in the government’s path, Pandey said.
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