A special panel of ministers has accepted the proposal from Tata Sons for the debt-laden Indian national carrier Air India’s divestment bid, Bloomberg reported on October 1, 2021.
The official announcement of the winner is expected to be released on October 6, 2021, once a group of ministers led by Indian home minister Amit Shah that was set up explicitly for the Air India divestment has made its decision.
The Indian government has denied reports indicating approval of financial bids by the government of India in the Air India divestment bid.
Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by Government of India in the AI disinvestment case are incorrect. Media will be informed of the Government decision as and when it is taken. pic.twitter.com/PVMgJdDixS— Secretary, DIPAM (@SecyDIPAM) October 1, 2021
Another participant in the Air India divestment bid was Ajay Singh. Singh is the managing director of SpiceJet Airlines but participated in the bid in his personal capacity.
AeroTime has reached out to Tata Sons for comment.
The Indian government started assessing the Air India divestment bids from Tata Sons and Singh on September 29, 2021, entering the final stages of the years-long divestment saga.
The Air India divestment completion will be a significant breakthrough for the Indian government since privatization efforts for the loss-making national carrier initially commenced in 2017.
The winner of the divestment bid will acquire 100% of the Air India and Air India Express shares with 50% equity in Air India cargo and ground-handling services. Along with equity, the winner will also get control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports, as well as 900 airport slots internationally.
Tata Sons taking up the ownership of Air India would mean that the Maharaja has returned home after 68 years. Air India was founded in 1932 by then-chairman of the Tata group Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata as Tata Airlines. The air carrier was renamed Air India in 1946 and nationalized in 1948, a year after India gained independence.