Air India may get a new owner by June: Aviation minister Hardeep Puri

Air India’s cumulative debt stood at Rs 60,000 crore
The central government is close to inviting financial bids for flag carrier Air India, moving toward the sale of an airline that’s surviving on taxpayer money, Civil Avia­tion Minister Hardeep Puri has said.


The financial offers are expected to come in within 64 days from the date of request, he said, addressing the Times Network India Economic Conclave Friday.


The process is likely to be completed by May or June, he said. Bloomberg reported on the plan earlier Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. “It’s a question of taking the decision and handing over the airline,” Puri said, without giving details of the bidders who made the initial shortlist.


Tata Group and SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh have been shortlisted to bid for the carrier, media reported this week. An invitation for financial bids will be a progress for Modi, who has failed previously to sell the enterprise that has been rescued by the government multiple times in the past decade.


The government loses Rs 20 crore everyday on the carrier, Puri said. Air India’s cumulative debt stood at Rs 60,000 crore, he said.   

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