Government speeds up Air India sale process
The government plans to come out with an expression of interest for the sale of Air India and chopper operator Pawan Hans after earlier attempts to privatise them did not evoke any response.
“For us it is not an option, it has to be privatised. There are no two ways about it. That is the correct picture. We will be issuing an expression of interest in the coming few weeks. Hopefully, sooner than later and the process of privatisation will then set in,” according to Hardeep Singh Puri, minister of state for civil aviation with independent charge .
Refusing to draw a timeline for the sale, the minister said the government was trying to do it as quickly as possible. “Whether it happens by March or June. We do not become slave to or victims of certain deadlines.”
Puri said the airline continued to makes losses of anywhere between Rs 22 crore and Rs 26 crore every day, necessitating a business model that can be addressed through privatisation.
Air India had a robust network in the domestic and international markets, a great brand and would to be an asset for any buyer, he said.