NEW DELHI: Air India divestment has entered its final, and most crucial, phase with qualified bidders expected to put in financial bids by September 15. The Tata Group, which founded the airline in 1932, and struggling-to-survive SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh are among the qualified suitors.
The Tata Group has bid for AI through AirAsia India and its executives have been visiting the airline sites across India in the past few months.
While Air India has been on the selloff list, it has moved slowly as the government and the bidders sought to resolve several issues — from employee benefits to how government guarantees will be dealt with — as it will form the template for future strategic sales.
BPCL and Shipping Corporation are among the highprofile public sector companies lined up for sale during the current fiscal year as the government chases a record target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in 2021-22. For long, the government’s commitment to the selloff programme has been questioned and if the Air India sale goes through, it could set the stage for more stake sales.