'Incorrect': Government denies report on Tata winning Air India bid
The Indian government has denied reports that the Tata Group has won the bid for Air India. Earlier in the day, Bloomberg reported that the conglomerate had won the bid for the national carrier. The publication said an official announcement about that would be made in the coming days. Here are more details on this.
'Media reports indicating approval of bids are incorrect'
"Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by Government of India in the AI disinvestment case are incorrect. Media will be informed of the Government decision as and when it is taken," the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said in a tweet.
Tata had bid for the airline this month
Tata Group and SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh had bid for the state-run airline earlier this month. If Tata's bid is approved, it would mark the return of Air India to that company after 67 years. The Tata Group had founded the airline in October 1932, naming it Tata Airlines. The Indian government had nationalized it in 1953.
Air India has suffered losses of over Rs. 70,000 crore
Air India has been marred by losses since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007. In fact, the government loses nearly Rs. 20 crore every day to run the airline and the total losses have reached more than Rs. 70,000 crore, officials say. It has been surviving through debt for the past several years.
Rs. 23,000 crore debt comes as part of the deal
With this bid, the buyer will get control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at airports across India as well as 900 slots at foreign airports. The winning bidder will also be handed over a debt of nearly Rs. 23,000 crore. Meanwhile, the remaining debt will be taken up by the government-owned Air India Asset Holdings Ltd. (AIAHL).