The government did not receive any bids for the sale of its stake in state-run carrier Air India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Thursday. Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choube had said on Wednesday that the government will not extend the May 31 deadline for submission of expressions of interest for the stake sale.
“As informed by the Transaction Adviser, no response has been received for the Expression of Interest floated for the strategic disinvestment of Air India,” the ministry said in a tweet. “Further course of action will be decided appropriately.” Ernst and Young India is the transaction adviser for the process.
On May 1, the Centre had extended the deadline for submission of bids from May 14 to May 31. The shortlisted bidders, if there were any, were to be intimated by June 15.
In January, the government planned to divest 76% stake in Air India, ignoring a parliamentary panel’s recommendation to give the debt-ridden airline five years to revive itself. Air India has not earned profits since it was merged with the state-owned domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007. The company made an operating profit of Rs 298 crore in the last financial year through March 2017 but still posted a net loss of Rs 5,765.16 crore.