DELHI: As the process of disinvestment of the debt-ridden Air India gets underway, it has emerged that the Modi government would be in favour of selling the stakes in the national carrier to domestic players only.
With the Prime Minister already having expressed his wish for the control of National Flag carrier to remain within the country, the government is apparently working with that mindset and looking at only the domestic players, some of whom have already expressed their willingness to pick up stakes in Air India, reports The Tribune.
Three entities — the Tata Group, the Bird Group, an aviation services provider, and InterGlobe Aviation — which operates the budget carrier IndiGo, have so far shown interest in buying stakes in the beleaguered state-run airline which has over the years seen its business shrink due to decades of mismanagement.
Reports suggested that the government was keen in hiving off the five different subsidiaries of Air India to five different entities as it is not possible for any one company to buy the entire Air India empire and as such would seek proposals from various entities for them. Market reports say of the five subsidiaries to be put on sale, the government was keen to engage with SpiceJet, IndiGo and the Tata Group for the three of its flying arms.
While Ajay Singh, the Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet, has over and again said the airline was too small to be involved in Air India sale, the government reportedly is keen in handing over the control of Air India’s low-cost airline Air India Express to him.