The information memorandum said the transaction will involve Air India, its low cost arm Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd. The funds saved can help the government bolster its finances and boost spending on health and education.
Strongly opposing the Centre's plans to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today demanded an immediate withdrawal of the order. "Slots can be utilized to take benefit of India's favorable geographic position in global air travel market and develop hub for worldwide operations".
What one gets with a 76% stake in Air India is an operational fleet of 104 aircraft of which only 69 are owned outright or through financial lease by the airline.
Saudi approval of Air India's new route has been interpreted as a sign of a possible rapprochement with Israel. "This includes strategic privatization of Air India".
The latter is an equal joint venture between the national carrier and Singapore-based SATS Ltd.
With its biggest hubs in Dehli and Mumbai, the combined Air India/Air India Express group operated 138 aircraft at the end of 2017, split evenly between Boeing and Airbus Types. The majority of the members, in favour of selling the government's stake in the national carrier, were from the ruling BJP. The government must lose no time in enabling that, while being open to even restructuring or reducing the airline's debts to make it an attractive buy.
India's biggest airline, IndiGo, has expressed unsolicited interest in.
He said the bidding process is expected to be finished by June, by when the winning bidder will be chosen, and all "legal formalities" will be completed by December.
As tempting a proposition it is to own this 85-year old airline which was started JRD Tata, the risks associated with its purchase are equally high.