The next big thing in Indian aviation is the sale of the national carrier, Air India. While the government has put the entire stake in the troubled carrier on the market, there are speculations floating around as to who might bid for Air India and increase their market share in the country. There were also some rumours that the Gulf-based carrier, Emirates might also be the one to place a bid for Air India. But, today Emirates has dismissed these rumours saying that it will not be buying Air India and instead plans to grow in India “organically”. It is worth noting that Emirates is the biggest foreign carrier in India.
Emirates Clarifies About No Interest in Air India Sale
Emirates boasts of having a reasonable 10% market share in the Indian aviation industry. Even then, the carrier does not seem to be interested in increasing its market share by buying Air India. Its official statement on the matter said, “We do not intend to acquire equity in Air India as we are currently focused on our own organic growth. We remain committed to support India’s vision for the tourism and aviation sectors.”
Vistara Might Place Bid for Air India
There is also the matter that even if Emirates wanted to buy Air India, it would only be able to claim a 49% stake in the airline, given the FDI rules in India. In such a scenario, other airlines operating in India with majority domestic stake like Vistara might be in line for buying India. It seems likely since Air India was initially owned by Tata, and currently, Tata Sons has a majority share in Vistara, it could be the carrier which places the best bet for Air India. SpiceJet could also be the one to buy Air India. If that happens, Emirates will benefit from the acquisition anyway since the two have a codeshare agreement in place.