With few hours to go before the closing of the bidding process, all eyes are set on Air India as the government hopes for the last hour rush. So far, the government has not received any bid for privatisation of Air India. A no-show by investors could set back the disinvestment process, which generated a lot of interest, initially. Also Read - We Will Stop Work: Air India Pilot Union Demands Vaccination of Crew on Priority
When asked if the CBI case against AirAsia could have any negative impact on Air India stake sale process, considering foreign investors have also been booked in the FIR, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey replied, “I don’t think so. The decision as important as buying Air India is not taken on individual events of this kind. These individual events, I don’t think, will have an impact on Air India disinvestment.” Also Read - 30 People on Air India Flight to Rome Test COVID-19 Positive on Arrival
Choubey on Wednesday said that the government has not received any bids so far for its stake in debt-laden Air India but expects bids to turn up in the last hour. He also said earlier that the government will not extend the deadline for submissions of interest in Air India. The deadline for receiving bids has already been extended once to May 31 from May 14. Also Read - Air India Sydney-Delhi Flight Returns Without Passengers. Here's Why
The disinvestment process of the debt-laden national carrier kicked off on March 28 kicked off to sell up to 76 per cent stake in the company along with management control.
Earlier, IndiGo and Jet Airways pulled out of the race to acquire debt-stricken Air India. Indigo was not interested in buying the whole company but just its international operations and Air Express, which is the low-cost arm of the government carrier,
IndiGo’s former president Aditya Ghosh, in a statement, earlier said, “From day one, IndiGo has expressed its interest primarily in the acquisition of Air India’s international operations and Air India Express. However, that option is not available under the government’s current divestiture plans for Air India”.
“Also, as we have communicated before, we do not believe that we have the capability to take on the task of acquiring and successfully turning around all of AI’s airline operations,” he added.
With inputs from PTI