In its second attempt to privatise Air India, the government intends to sell 100 percent stake in the airline
IndiGo and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways have expressed interest in bidding for national carrier Air India, The Economic Times reported. “Representatives from these companies have met government officials and, unofficially shown interest in the national carrier,” a source told the paper.
The Tata Group, which founded the airline, has not indicated any interest yet in bidding for the airline, the report stated.
In its second attempt to privatise Air India, the government intends to sell 100 percent stake in the airline. In the previous attempt in 2018, the government had said it would retain a 24 percent stake in Air India.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
While IndiGo operator InterGlobe Aviation can bid for a 100 percent stake in the Air India, Etihad cannot purchase more than 49 percent due to foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.
Etihad owns a 24 percent stake in Jet Airways, which has been grounded since April.
In the aviation sector, the government permits 100 percent FDI under the automatic route for MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul, ground handling, and aircraft purchase, but not for control of the airline.
The expression of interest (EoI) document will likely be issued in January 2020, the report said.The sale of Air India is expected to help the government move closer to its divestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crore for FY20.