Govt refutes media reports about Tata Group winning Air India bid

air india bidding pushed further ahead

The Centre denies all media reports claiming Tata Group of winning the bid for the debt-laden airline Air India.

As reported by some of media houses, Tata group had made its way to re-acquire the national carrier more than half a century after it ceded control to the government.

“Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by Government of India in the AI disinvestment case are incorrect,” the finance ministry said on Friday, adding the media will be informed of any decision “as and when it is taken.”

Earlier this month, Tata Group and SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh in his private capacity placed their bids for the embattled state-run Air India.

After the government invited expression of interest for divestment of the national airline earlier in December 2020, four bidders joined the race, however Tata Group and Spicejet CEO Ajay Singh were the only ones to make it to the final stage.

After an unsuccessful attempt of selling the airline earlier in March 2018, this is marked as the second attempt made by the PM Modi-led government.

When the government first opened the stage for bidding of the national carrier there were no takers at that juncture due to concerns regarding the airline’s burgeoning debt.

Air India has accumulated losses of over ₹ 70,000 crore and the government loses nearly ₹ 20 crore to run the national carrier every day, according to reports.

Even after the airline’s precarious finances, Air India still controls more than 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, and 900 slots overseas. And the winning bidder will not only hold 100 per cent stake in Air India and its low-cost arm Air India Express, but also a 50 per cent stake in ground handling company Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).

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