Foreign airlines can participate in Air India sale

Options Open On Air India Proposed Disinvestment Says Singapore Airlines

Even though the Union Cabinet has allowed foreign airlines to pick up 49 per cent stake in Air India, worldwide players are likely to stay away unless the government agrees to hand over management control of the airline to them.

Currently, Air India is incurring a net loss of $569 million annually as per the latest official data presented by India's Civil Aviation Ministry in the Parliament.

Raju's in his official Twitter had commented: "Foreign airlines now allowed toinvest up to 49 percent under the approval route in Air India".

The provision was however not applicable to Air India.

"Our priority is the further expansion of Vistara".

If we have disinvested 60 percent of Air India, 60 percent would be with the private sector, 40 percent would remain with the government. OK.

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The government said last June it was open to selling a stake in the state-owned airline, which has developed a reputation for delays, cancellations and poor service.

The Indian government has allowed foreign airlines to have up to 49 per cent stake under the approval route in Air India subject to certain conditions.

"Substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in Indian national", the release said.

The government has yesterday permitted foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent in debt-ridden Air India, and eased norms for investment in single brand retail, construction and power exchanges.

A group of Indian ministers is in the process of finalising the contours for the proposed strategic stake sale in the national carrier Air India and expression of interest is likely to be invited from bidders soon.

CAPA, in an earlier note, had said that the government should clean up its balance sheet and Air India Express and special business units such as Air India Engineering should be sold separately.

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