Tata Sons and SpiceJet have officially submitted their respective bids for the Air India sale on Wednesday. The bidding process has now moved to the concluding stage.
Air India received financial bids for its disinvestment process, Finance Ministry said. “Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to concluding stage,” Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Tuhin Kanta Pandey stated.
Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had earlier made it clear that September 15 deadline for the process is fixed and will not change.
Tatas set up Tata Airlines in 1932, which was later in 1946 renamed as Air India. The government took control of the airline in 1953 but JRD Tata continued to be its chairman till 1977.
At present, Tata operates Vistara in partnership with Singapore Airlines and AirAsia India in partnership with Malaysia’s AirAsia.
Air India has a debt of Rs 43,000 crore of which Rs 22,000 crore will also be transferred to the Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL).
The government is planning to sell a 100% stake in the airline and its low-cost arm Air India Express. And a 50% stake in ground handling company Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).
Other properties which include Mumbai’s Air India building and Delhi’s Airlines House will also be part of the deal.
Currently, the airline controls over 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports as well as 900 slots abroad.
An attempt to auction Air India’s majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids. The forced the Centre to ease certain terms this time.
The government has also extended the deadline several times due to COVID-19 pandemic.