Indian government seeks buyer for majority stake in Air India

Delhi-Kolkata Air India flight aborted following bomb scare

In January, during a meeting of the panel, most members had sought the withdrawal of the draft report which said that it was not an appropriate time to divest stake in Air India and that the airline should be given at least five years to revive.

Speaking about Air India's employees, Sinha said that a consultation process with respect to their protection is now underway.

The process is being monitored by Air India-Specific Alternative Mechanism headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The 200-page document called the preliminary information memorandum (PIM) lays out what is on offer for the interested bidders as well as formalising strict pre-conditions to qualify as a bidder for Air India.

The tender underscored that Air India's other wholly-owned subsidiaries Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL), Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l), and the Hotel Corporation of India (only 80.3% owned by Air India Ltd.) would not be part of the sale as they are in the process of being transferred to a separate special objective vehicle (SPV).

To remind you, the government will retain a 24 per cent stake in the airline post privatisation. El Al has stated that Air India had been prioritized, which violates the basic principles of fair competition.

El Al has taken legal action against the Air India, Israeli government, its Civil Aviation Administration, Transportation Minister Israel Katz, said the Israeli airline's spokesperson Ran Rahav.

More news: Census Will Ask About Citizenship Status

The money that was pumped in Air India earlier would be used for public welfare sectors like healthcare and farmers, Sinha said.

Along with IndiGo, aviation industry majors SATS, Bird Group and Celebi have shown interest in buying Air India's ground handling unit.

As on December 1, 2017, the airline had 11,214 permanent employees and 2,913 on contract, among others.

On March 22, Air India's maiden flight to Israel landed in Tel Aviv, reducing the travel time substantially after Saudi Arabia for the first time allowed a commercial flight to use its airspace, indicating a thaw in relations between the Arab kingdom and the Jewish state.

The latter is an equal joint venture between the national carrier and Singapore-based SATS Ltd.

As tempting a proposition it is to own this 85-year old airline which was started JRD Tata, the risks associated with its purchase are equally high.

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