Govt committed to A-I strategic sale: Sinha

The government is committed to strategic disinvestment of Air India and a plan is being prepared to run the airline efficiently, the civil aviation ministry said on Wednesday, weeks after the carrier’s strategic stake sale failed to take off.

While asserting that a decision on the future course would be taken in the best interests of A-I, civil av­iation minister Suresh Pr­a­bhu said the airline has be­en suffering from certain le­g­acy issues, including huge debt.

“The government is committed to  A-I strategic disinvestment. What the mo­d­al­i­t­i­es are, what the circumsta­nces are, we have to monitor and evaluate as we go alo­ng,” minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said.

On Tuesday, a top official had said the government has for now dropped plans to sell majority stake in A-I as it may not be the right time to privatise the loss-making fl­ag carrier in an election year.

About the process for 76 per cent stake sale in Air India that did not attract any bidders after the deadline ended on May 31, Sinha said nobody expressed any interest during that process.

“Just by that set of circumstances, it is clear that process is over and we have to move forward and consider other alternatives. As industry circumstances chan­ge, we will evaluate all those alternatives. If need be, we can restart that or any other process given the appropriate market conditions,” the minister said.