Civil Aviation

Centre says it will soon invite informal offers from firms seeking to invest in Air India

Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said the government also wanted to invite buyers for national helicopter carrier Pawan Hans.

The Centre on Thursday said it was committed to speed up the process of Air India’s disinvestment, and was likely to invite Expressions of Interest from parties in the next few weeks, PTI reported. An Expression of Interest is an informal offer made by a buyer to purchase a business.

“Our ministry is presently engaged in the important task of finding buyers for Air India, its subsidiaries and [state-owned helicopter service provider] Pawan Hans,” Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said at the inauguration of a four-day aviation event in Hyderabad. He said that a revised Expressions of Interest invitation for Pawan Hans would be floated around the same time as that for Air India.

In 2017, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to privatise the loss-making national carrier. A committee chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been appointed to form a strategy to sell off the government’s stake in Air India.

Choubey added that India’s domestic air passenger traffic has grown over 20% in the last three years. “As many as 56 new airports have been added into the network in the last two years,” he said, claiming that the government’s regional air connectivity scheme, Udan, had further boosted air traffic growth in India.

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