December 2, 2017: Minister of state for aviation Jayant Sinha has stated that the government will not separate the domestic and international airline businesses of Air India to attract buyers for the national carrier.
Earlier, IndiGo, which had expressed interest in acquiring Air India, was keen to buy its international operations. “Air India will be sold as one entity, which will include both domestic and international entity of the airline,” said Sinha.
A decision on whether or not to sell the subsidiaries of Air India as a package along with the airline was yet to be made, he said. Low cost carrier IndiGo, which has formally made a request to buy Air India, said that its primary interest was in the international wing of the national carrier.
Sinha also informed that Tata Group has not approached the government on bidding for Air India. “The only formal proposal for Air India has come to us from IndiGo. We expect (other) interested parties will provide their expression of interest to the transaction adviser,” Sinha added.
Earlier, few news channels had reported that the government had received a formal proposal from the Tata Group.
In June, the cabinet gave in-principle the approval for strategic sale of the centre’s stake in Air India, which means the government is willing to shed a substantial portion of its stake and hand over the management of the ailing airline to the private sector.