The second attempt to privatise Air India is likely to kickstart next month. Before issuing the expression of interest (EoI), the government will this time meet potential buyers — including names like Tata Group and InterGlobe Aviation that run airlines and other big Indian corporates already in aviation space — to assess their interest. The idea is to avoid roadblocks that led to the first attempt seeing not even a single bid coming for the Maharaja last year and be successfully able to complete the AI divestment within this fiscal itself.
The department of investment and public asset management (Dipam) expects to launch EoI for AI divestment by early November. The government will also decide on transfer of more debt from the airline’s books to SPV Air India Assets Holding (AIAHL). There is enough interest in the Maharaja and the process of stake sale is on track.