The government has successfully finished the disinvestment process of Air India as Tata Groups have completed the acquisition process and the airline is all set to take up to the skies from January of next year. Now the government is ready to sell Air India’s ground handling unit to foreign ground handling companies such as Swissport. Swissport is owned by an international group of investors and is one of the companies that has placed the bid for Air India’s ground handling unit.
All Eyes on Profitable AIATSL
Managing Director of Swissport Australasia, Brad Moore has said in a statement that the ground-handling unit of Air India – Air India Air Transport Services Ltd. (AIATSL) is a good opportunity for Swissport and they would be interested in exploring the aspects of the ground handling unit. He added that AIATSL has been operationally strong and is a profitable company and Swissport would be more than interested in having a partnership with the former.
According to the rumors, Swissport is also in talks with other existing ground handling companies in the country so that they can initiate a joint venture in India. It is probable that with an entry in India, the company would like to get into cargo handling at Bengaluru airport along with soon to be opened Jewar airport. Moore added that the sector in India is quite mature and competent and Swissport will be looking to get into partnership with the right organizations to make their presence felt in the country.
Moreover, the existing ground handling companies as well have their deep interest vested in AIATSL as the acquisition of Air India’s former ground handling unit will make any existing company the largest in the country.
Earlier the government had announced that Tata will continue the operations at India’s flag-bearing airline Air India after winning the bid in the divestment process. The acquisition has resulted in Tata owning a 100% stake in Air India as well as a 100% stake in its subsidiary Air India Express which is a low-cost carrier airline. The acquisition of Air India would make it the third airline under the belt of Tata. They already own a majority interest in Air Asia India and Vistara. The ownership of Air India would also give them a total of 4400 domestic and 1800 international landing and parking spots at domestic airports. Moreover, a total of 900 spots will also be available at various international airports.