Government plans to divest 76% in Air India, invites EoI

Government plans to divest 76% in Air India, invites EoI

The Centre released the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) to invite Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for the strategic divestment of Air India, and its shareholding in Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services Ltd, on Wednesday.

El Al has taken legal action against the Air India, Israeli government, its Civil Aviation Administration, Transportation Minister Israel Katz, said the Israeli airline's spokesperson Ran Rahav.

The government has unveiled plans to sell up to 76 per cent stake in the debt-laden national carrier, Air India, and transfer its management control to private players.

As long as El Al is barred from flying over Saudi Arabia en route to and from Israel, it was illegal for foreign airlines to do so, Rahav said, citing the International Air Transport Association's principles of reciprocity and equality.

". the balance debt shall be allocated to Air India Asset Holding Limited which is 100 per cent owned by the GOI subject to receipt of requisite approvals from lenders and regulators, as applicable". Details of the debt/liabilities reallocation will be disclosed at the RFP stage.

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But the proposal, which calls for bids by May 14, is already generating political opposition and the new owners face turning around an airline that has lost money for the past decade.

Per the plan, the Air India group will be divested as four different entities. So the potential partner that comes forward should be given the additional comfort of not having to look after all of the 27,000 people who work at Air India, its five subsidiaries and a joint venture.

Air India opened the link on 22 March using a route that crossed Saudi Arabian and Omani airspace, a flightpath which El Al is not authorised to fly. The government has injected $3.6 billion (Rs 23,461 crore at $1 = Rs 65.17) since 2012 to bail out the airline.

Mumbai:The government is selling a controlling stake in its flagship carrier along with two-thirds of the loss-making airline's about $7.8 billion debt, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi moves ahead with the nation's most high profile asset sale in decades.

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