New Delhi: The central government plans to divest its stake in the national passenger carrier Air India by the end of 2018.
According to the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, the Air India group will be divested as four different entities and that the "information memorandum" will be issued in some time.
Speaking a day after the Union Budget 2018-19, Sinha said that the government plans to select the winning bidders by June 2018 and that the four different entities will be handed-out by December 2018.
Further, Sinha disclosed that a foreign airline has shown interest in Air India.
The MoS Civil Aviation had earlier said that government will split state-run carrier Air India into four separate companies and offer at least 51 percent in each of them as part of a divestment plan proposed by the government, according to a Bloomberg report.
The debt-laden airline would be divided into core airline business, regional arm, ground handling and engineering operations, the report said.
The core airline business comprising Air India and Air India Express, the low-cost overseas arm, will be offered as one company, and the process will be completed by the end of 2018, the report said.
The government had last week allowed foreign airlines to own up to 49 percent stake in national carrier Air India at a time when the process for strategic disinvestment of the debt-laden airline is on.
While allowing foreign investors, including overseas airlines, to have a stake in Air India, the government has also made it clear that the national carrier's substantial ownership would remain with an Indian national.
A group of ministers is in the process of finalising the contours for the proposed strategic stake sale in the national carrier and expression of interest is likely to be invited from bidders soon.
(With ANI inputs)