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10 Sep 2017

Air India's debt may get excluded for stake sale

Air India's future lies undecided

Centre may keep out a part of Air India's debt to draw investors.

Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the NDA government is currently mulling on different options and the final call will be taken by Arun Jaitley and his group of ministers.

Creating a separate company out of the embattled airline's assets, like real estate, is also being considered.

Here's more.

In context

Air India's future lies undecided
Various options are being considered

Air India

Various options are being considered

Raju said, "Its books are bad, you can't leave it like that… Suppose a portion of its debt is removed, non-aviation-related assets are removed and put into a shell company owned by the government, I think things will work."

The government is also considering the possibility of giving the management of Air India-owned hotels to provincial governments or the tourism board.

Celebi

Another firm shows interest

Air India's future needs to be decided soon in order for it to remain a "vibrant" and contending airline in India's aviation sector. Raju said potential buyers of the state-run airline need to know what's on offer before giving it "serious consideration."

Meanwhile, Turkey's Celebi Aviation Holding has written to the ministry expressing its interest in buying state-owned Air India's ground handling operations.

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