Air India flight carrying Indians from Diamond Princess (Image - Twitter/@MEAIndia)
Air India's chairman Rajiv Bansal on December 29 said that the disinvestment-bound national airliner made a cash loss of Rs 3,600 crore in FY 2019-20.
Maintaining that the loss was much less than FY 2018-19, Bansal stated transporting stranded Indians from overseas since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in sequential improvement in its income this financial year.
"Our financials have improved every quarter. Second quarter was better than the first quarter. The third quarter has been better. This is a good traffic season. A lot of international traffic has been there to various destinations, particularly the US. The United States and Canada continue to be our prime markets," Business-Standard quoted Bansal as saying.
A number of credible bidders available for Air India, says Hardeep Singh Puri
Meanwhile, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry confirmed Air India's second phase of the strategic disinvestment from January 5, 2021. The process will begin with the announcement of the names of the qualified bidders.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed that Tata Sons and a consortium comprising Air India employees and a US-based fund have submitted bids.
Earlier, the Ministry divided the process into two stages. In the first stage, the process has been divided into two stages. In stage I, expressions of interest (EoI) were submitted by interested bidders and they were shortlisted based on eligibility criteria and other terms mentioned in the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM).
While in second stage, shortlisted interested bidders were provided with a request for proposal (RFP) and thereafter there will be a transparent bidding process, said a presentation by the ministry. Citing the Covid-19 pandemic, last date for submission of EOIs was extended up to December 14, 2020. Now the date of intimation to qualified interested bidders is January 5, 2021.
The Union government on January 27, 2020, had offered 100 percent sale of equity share capital of Air India Ltd (AIL), sale of AIL's 100 percent shareholding in the Air India Express Ltd (AIXL) and sale of 50 percent shareholding in Air India Airport Services Private Ltd (AISATS) through PIM.