Jan 30: Weeks after the government announced that it was going ahead with the divestment plan of national carrier Air India, a foreign investor has evinced keen interest in buying 49 percent stake in airline.
The country’s Civil Aviation Secretary has been quoted as saying that a foreign entity has expressed unsolicited interest in picking 49 percent stake in Air India. Reports added that the foreign player has forwarded the interest officially in black and white to the Union Government. However, no clarification has been made whether the foreign investor is looking to buy stake in the debt-laden Air India is a foreign airline.
So far, domestic airline major Indigo is the only entity which has formally expressed interest in buying the stakes in Air India. In the meantime, Singapore Airlines has also said that its options are flexible as far as investing in Air India is concerned.
The disinvestment policy is an SOS measure to aid the ailing company that has been burdened by debt. It needs to be noted that, the government had earlier clarified that the foreign investments in Air India shall not exceed 49 percent either directly or indirectly, and also that substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in India.