Tata looking to buy stake in Air India: Sources

Air India traces its roots to Tata Airlines, which was formed back in 1932. Set up by Tatas, the carrier was made a public company and was rechristened as Air India. Later, it was nationalised.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:June 22, 2017 8:51 am
Tata, Air India, Tata-Air India, air india stake, Tata group, Ratan tata, Earlier also, Tatas had tried to acquire stake in Air India. Currently, Air India has a debt of more than Rs 52,000 crore. (File photo)

Tata Group is believed to be discussing buying a stake in debt-laden Air India amid the government looking at various options, including full or partial privatisation, to revive the national carrier, sources said. When contacted, a Tata group spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on speculations.”

Staying afloat on taxpayers’ money, Air India has been in the red for long and various proposals, including government think-tank Niti Aayog’s suggestion for complete privatisation, have been made. Sources said Tata group is evaluating options on buying stake in Air India.

In this regard, there have been internal meetings as well as meetings with government representatives, sources added. There was no official word from the government but sources said the Civil Aviation Ministry is keen on retaining the national carrier status of Air India.

One scenario being discussed is that the government would retain 51 per cent stake and the rest 49 per cent could be sold to private players, which could include foreign players.

Sources said in such a situation, the government would have majority stake but operational control would be with the minority stakeholder.

The government is also looking at various options such as selling off non-core assets to reduce the airline’s debt burden. For the Tatas, it would be more of a homecoming.

Air India traces its roots to Tata Airlines, which was formed back in 1932. Set up by Tatas, the carrier was made a public company and was rechristened as Air India. Later, it was nationalised.

Earlier also, Tatas had tried to acquire stake in Air India. Currently, Air India has a debt of more than Rs 52,000 crore.

On Tuesday, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said inter-ministerial consultations on the future course of action for Air India have been completed and the Cabinet would decide on how best to move forward.

Recently, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the aviation ministry has to explore all possibilities “as to how the privatisation of Air India can be done”. Tatas already have two airline joint ventures — Vistara and AirAsia India.

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  1. C
    Citizen
    Jun 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm
    Govt should have only minority share other wise the mind set of the staff would not change. People avoid this air line as mainly due to the staff's at ude towards fare paying passengers on the other hand very very poor customer service even the letters/complaints to the top guys never look the light of the day even a simple reply is no given. So better sell the air line lock stock barrel to some one who can manage much better. Jaihind
    Reply
  2. N
    N J Anthrayos
    Jun 22, 2017 at 6:49 pm
    Air India's present position is due to bad work culture and successive governments inaction and also free pass of Mps and ministers. It should be completely sold out to private parties like Tatas who have expertise in the field. Liabilities should be taken over by the buyers. Staff strength need be cut down drastically to make it economically viable.
    Reply
  3. S
    S Srinivasan
    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    A proud air carrier was deliberately made sick by Congress/NCP combine.The public money was wasted all through and now Modi sarkar think in the right direction. This huge elephant should go to private hands,who alone can manage the affairs and turn it profitable case any public issue comes up,people should not put their money in it and banks should not lend even a single paise.Let the private people for whom several considerations were given in the past manage the show.
    Reply
  4. C
    Chand
    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    Air India badly needs some professional touch. The airline has been bleeding red due to mismanagement and unproductive costs.
    Reply
  5. K
    Kamal Pasha
    Jun 22, 2017 at 11:37 am
    Only Gujratis like Tatas, Ambanis the friends of Gujrati Modi will buy all the management made loss making organisations at a give away prices. Well done Modi.
    Reply
  6. R
    Raju bhai
    Jun 22, 2017 at 11:19 am
    govt should not have any stake. Sell off air India in parts where you can land, hotel, infrastructure etc, remaining assets aircraft, bays, engineering etc. give to Vistara. Let Vistara become the new Air India.
    Reply
  7. V
    Vilas
    Jun 22, 2017 at 10:36 am
    The air line worn be profitable as long as GAIKWAD class is there who will abuse employees take over planes and Stupid TAI will find amicable solution to cover the criminal activities of GAIKWAD class. Tatas should wake up and not get involved
    Reply
  8. P
    Pankaj
    Jun 22, 2017 at 9:09 am
    In Last 5-7 years, We have all noticed that how Air India was methodically killed to accommodate private Airlines.
    Reply
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