Day after the Union Cabinet gave in-principle approval for Air India divestment, budget carrier IndiGo has expressed interest in purchasing a stake in the debt-laden national airline.
Elaborating on the divestment plans, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday had said government has decided to set up a committee to explore various options including strategic divestment of the loss-making airline and its five subsidiaries. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will head the inter-ministerial panel. The decision was based on the recommendations of Niti Aayog.
Air India Transport Services, Hotel Corporation of India, Air India Charters, Air India Engineering Services and Airlines Allied Services are the five subsidiaries of Air India.
The committee will consider the quantum of disinvestment to be made the “universe of bidders”, according to a government statement.
Air India has a 14 percent market share in the domestic market and 17 percent share of the overseas traffic flying to and from India.
Clearly, indicating his ministry’s views on the issue, Jaitley had recently earlier said the government should have ideally exited the airline 15 years ago and that he saw no reason why the private sector couldn’t be allowed to handle the remaining passengers in the domestic market when it was already managing the 86 percent.