While rumours of privatising Air India are forging ahead, the Indian government is unlikely to go for divesting its entire stake in the debt-ridden national carrier and instead keep a majority stake with it while getting rid of the airlines’ debt. According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, it was not keen on the complete privatisation of the airline and situation of the government retaining a 51% stake was more likely. The rest 49% could be sold to private players.
While the discussions on the Air India crisis are picking up pace on Twitter, many opinions and questions on the possible buyer have been tossed. One such question was asked to Anand Mahindra, the chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group, his response was slightly funny!
I see myself as a generally courageous person…But I confess..I don’t possess THAT much courage… https://t.co/OFPdoYuloq
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) June 28, 2017
When asked, if Mahindra will invest in Air India or will they bring new airlines in the Indian market; Mahindra replied that he sees himself as a generally ‘courageous person’ but he confesses to not have much ‘courage’ to invest in Air India, the National Aviation Company of India Limited by the Government of India.
Notably, if the privatisation actually happens, it will set a ground for the finance and civil aviation ministries to start the process of valuation of the debt-ridden airline, decide upon the eligibility of buyers and identify prospective suitors and upon the method of sale, and take decisions on what to do with the airline’s assets and its 46,570-crore debt, dealing with employee unions, and hiring financial and legal advisors.