Monday, 30th October 2017

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Government sees no hurdles to Air India selloff

Puri did not share details about the potential investors as the first stage of the bidding process is on

  • Published 18.02.20, 12:48 AM
  • Updated 18.02.20, 12:48 AM
  • a min read
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Hardeep Singh Puri said the government wanted Air India to continue flying under the same brand name for the next few years. Telegraph file picture

The government is hopeful of privatising Air India this time, after its unsuccessful attempt earlier, as some prospective buyers have shown interest, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday.

“The amount of interest I am seeing in the acquisition and the quarters from where I am seeing it, I am reassured,” Puri said at an event here to distribute the “letters of appreciation” issued by the Prime Minister to the staff of Air India who conducted evacuation operation of stranded Indians from Wuhan city in China, which has been hit by the coronavirus. Puri, however, did not share details about the potential investors .

On January 27, the government had invited bids for a 100 per cent stake sale of Air India along with its 100 per cent stake in Air India Express and 50 per cent holding in AISATS, after an attempt in 2018 to sell a 76 per cent stake in the national air carrier had come a cropper.

He said the government wanted Air India to continue flying under the same brand name for the next few years.

However, certain stakeholders have long been unsure of what their fate would be once the national carrier is privatised. The employees have been ill at ease on whether their careers would proceed on the same path as those of Jet Airways’ employees.

Trying to qualm their fears and worries, the minister said the employees’ requirements would be kept first in the decisions regarding Air India.