Air India Privatization has finally got the approval of the cabinet. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that Cabinet has approved the sale of the debt ridden National Carrier of India. In the due course of time, the decision of divestment and demerger will be taken. Air India Privatization has been under consideration for the 30000 Crores Working Capital Loan and 22000 Crores Aircraft Purchase Loan. The National Carrier survived for the bailout package of 30,000 Crores that has pumped in by the Government during UPA-II to save the Airlines.
According to the sources, there are multiple options available now for the Government for the sale. There is a chance of 100% sale to Private companies and 74% and 51% privatization is also possible. The Air India has many subsidiaries, AI Engineering Services LTD, AI Transport Services LTD, Alliance Air, AI Express and Hotel Corporations of India. Apart from the subsidiaries, the AI also owns huge acres of Real Estate in different locations of the world. AI has employees of around 31000 employees in India and abroad. The Carrier has 110 fleets under its banner and Travel to 41 international destinations and 72 domestic destinations. The market share for the domestic airlines is around 14% and for the international is just over 17% as of now.
The foreign companies can invest in Air India privatization but the investment is capped at 49%. The founder of Air India, Tata Group has shown interest in buying the debt ridden airlines with some conditions along with Singapore Airlines. However, more bids are expected once the process starts.
So far, it has not been decided whether there would be a complete sale or gradual divestment. A panel headed by the Finance Minister would decide the course of action. There are also recommendations of selling off the real estate property to clear the Working Capital loan at first before gradually de-merging and disinvestment.