Industry

IndiGo airlines shows interest in buying stakes in Air India

Air India has a total debt of around ₹52,000 crore which comprises of ₹22,000 crore as aircraft loan and the rest as working capital loan and other liabilities.

Air India has a total debt of around ₹52,000 crore which comprises of ₹22,000 crore as aircraft loan and the rest as working capital loan and other liabilities.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

 A day after Union Cabinet gave its nod for divestment of Air India, low-cost airline IndiGo formally evinced interest in buying a strategic stake in the national carrier, especially in its international operations.

 

“We have received an unsolicited expression of interest from IndiGo on (buying a stake in) Air India,” Civil Aviation Secretary R.N.Choubey told reporters here.

 

IndiGo's President and Whole-time Director Aditya Ghosh wrote a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday saying it is interested in buying out the international operations of Air India.

 

“This shows the market views Air India as a tremendous value and potential,” Mr. Choubey said, adding that the national carrier’s stake sale will happen through a tender process. An IndiGo Spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

 

“Kindly treat this letter as our expression of interest in acquiring the international airline operations of Air India and Air India Epxress,” Mr. Ghosh said in the letter dated June 29.

 

“Alternatively, we are equally interested in acquiring all of the airline operations of Air India and Air India Express,” the letter further stated.

 

Minister of State Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said other private players, both domestic and international, have also approached the Centre informally to buy stakes in Air India. He, however, refused to divulge any names. “IndiGo is the first market player which has formally shown interest in Air India,” he said.

 

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the government will aim to make Air India an economically viable unit “which entails element of privatisation.”

 

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave an in-principle approval for divesting stakes in Air India. It formed a group under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to decide upon the modalities of Air India’s stake sale.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:42:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/indigo-airlines-shows-interest-in-buying-stake-in-air-india/article19174390.ece

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