Government confident on getting a new buyer for Air India, says Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri informed that government has conducted eight roadshows to seek the interests of probable investors for Air India globally in the last two months. He further assured that Indigo Airline - boardroom issues won't impact the performance of the airline. 

Government confident on getting a new buyer for Air India, says Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said that many probable investors have directly approached the aviation ministry and shown interest for taking over the company. He added that the government stays confident that this time Air India will find a new buyer and divestment for certain will happen.

Addressing a press conference, Puri informed that government has conducted eight roadshows to seek the interests of probable investors for Air India globally in the last two months. He further assured that Indigo Airline - boardroom issues won't impact the performance of the airline. 

Puri said that that total amount debt on Air India is of Rs 23000 crore and the ministry has received a lot of Interests for Air India. Giving the employee data, Puri said that the total employee strength of AI is 17984 out of which 9617 are permanent employees. He further assured the employees that employees dues with arrears will be paid by the Air India assets holding company before the closing of the proposed transaction and 3% of equity share of Air India to be given to Air India employees. 

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The aviation ministry also informed that any company which takes over AI will continue to use the flag and mark of the company.  The government has fixed February 11 as the last date for submission of queries and the last date of responding to them on February 23. 

The Ministry also informed that identification of the bidder for Air India to be done within this financial year and if a foreign airline bids for AI, they will have to follow the framework of existing FDI policy. 

Air India has total assets worth  Rs 17000 crore and the liabilities to be retained in Air India will be of Rs 8771.5 crores. The liabilities will not include lands, artefacts, paintings acquired by Air India and contingent liabilities due to retired employees will be clarified at the EOI stage.