Government officials said IndiGo expressed in interest in buying stakes in Air India post the Cabinet decision on Wednesday.
New Delhi: A day after the Union Cabinet gave a thumbs-up for the disinvestment of the debt-laden Air India, the country’s largest private airline IndiGo expressed interest in buying stake in the company, said government sources.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave an ‘in-principle’ approval for the privatisation of Air India which is riddled with a debt of USD 8 billion. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will set up groups to look into how much stake will be sold and into the process of disinvestment.
"Post the cabinet decision tomorrow, we have received an expression of interest for Air India from IndiGo. They have said that they are interested in Air India," said Secretary R N Choubey. He said IndiGo has written a letter to the Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju stating it would like to buy its low-cost wing, Air India Express. IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh, who wrote the letter, added if that is not possible then IndiGo would like to buy the entire Air India flight operations.
"Many other private players, both domestic and international, have approached us. But those were informal talks. IndiGo's was the only formal EOI," said Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.
Air India’s market share in the competitive airlines industry has tanked to 13 per cent as private carriers like IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet upped their game.
IndiGo is the largest domestic carrier in terms of market shares and controls around 40 per cent of the domestic airlines market, with 126 planes and 854 daily flights.