Uncertainty about the fate of India’s debt-laden flag carrier Air India continues to loom with the government reportedly divesting its stake in the airline by breaking it up into four units and offering at least 51 per cent of each for sale.
Bloomberg reports that as part of the divestment plan, Air India and its LCC arm Air India Express will be offered as one company; and its regional arm, ground handling and engineering operations will be sold separately. The whole process is expected to be completed by year-end.
Along with this came the decision that foreign entities will be allowed to own 49 per cent in the airline without need for government approval. Since this was announced, some reports have suggested that Singapore Airlines and the Tata Group are open to bidding. SIA and Tata Son, holding company of Tata Group, are joint owners of Indian domestic airline Vistara.
Meanwhile, the Economic Times of India reported that AirAsia India has ruled out plans to participate in the stake sale.