On Saturday, March 27 , Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stated that Air India will be 100% disinvested and also added that choice is only between closing down the airline company or making disinvestment in the company.
Hardeep Singh Puri said, “We have decided that Air India will be 100% disinvested. The Choice is not between disinvestment and non-disinvestment, it is between disinvestment and closing down. Air India is a first-rate asset but has an accumulated debt of Rs 60,000 Crore. We need to draw the slate clean.”
He also added the debt-ridden national carrier “must find a new home.” Puri added that disinvestment process is likely to be completed by May or June.
Aviation Minister also spoke to news agency ANI, “In the last meeting which was scheduled on Monday, it was decided in the meeting that the shortlisted bidders for Air India disinvestment will be informed that the bids have to come in within 64 days. And also this time the government is determined and there is no hesitation.”
In the last meeting, on Monday, it was decided that the shortlisted bidders (for Air India disinvestment) be informed that the bids have to come in within 64 days…This time the Govt is determined and there is no hesitation: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri pic.twitter.com/rlJirhxckh
— ANI (@ANI) March 27, 2021
In 2018, the government has expressed interest to sell 76 per cent stake and management control in the airline but it did not receive a single bidder. Currently, government owns 100 per cent stake in Air India. However, the government has now decided to sell off 100% of its stake as the airline is in debt of 60,000 crore.
The new owner of Air India will be taking on a fleet of 121 aircraft in Air India’s fleet and 25 planes in Air India Express’ fleet.