Air India has been facing massive losses since the past few years and the grim financial situation of the airlines has forced the hands of the government to proceed towards the privatisation of the national carrier. However, junior minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri has said that Air India might have to be shut down if the privatisation process tanks and in case Air India finds no buyers. It is worth noting that the privatisation process has already been set in motion by the officials with home ministers and other members of the parliament working on the process of inviting bids.
Government to Sell a Full Stake This Time
Air India has some of the most attractive landing slots in India, but even then the financial burden on the airline has been a massive one. Last year also, the government proceeded with the sale of Air India but then failed to get any buyers for the airline. The difference between the Air India sale last time and this time is of the stake. While previously the government was selling a 76% stake in the airline, now it plans to sell the entire stake. The debt of the airline is also being significantly reduced to increase the attractiveness of the deal for the buyers.
Indian Aviation Industry is Mature and Competitive: Minister
On being questioned in the parliament, Hardeep Singh Puri said that the government is committed to the strategic sale of Air India and would work to get the deal which is best for its employees. At this point of time, as per the junior aviation minister, further financial support in the mature and competitive aviation market of India would not be an ideal move. After the divestment, as per the minister, Air India would be at par as compared to other designated carriers which are operating in India.