Strategic sale of Air India’s ground handling arm likely
The strategic sale of Air India Air Transport Service is being planned as part of the turnaround scheme for Air India
New Delhi: The government is mulling strategic sale of Air India subsidiary AIATSL to raise funds and help lower the debt of the national carrier, according to official sources.
A strategic sale of Air India Air Transport Service (AIATSL), which provides ground handling services, is being planned as part of the turnaround scheme for Air India. The airline had debts of Rs 48,000 crore at the end of March 2017.
“The expression of interest (EoI) for bidders will be floated soon after the GoM clears it,” sources told PTI.
The government had originally proposed in May it would offload 76 per cent of Air India’s equity share capital as well as transfer management control to private players. The buyer would have had to take over Rs 24,000 crore debt along with over Rs 8,000 crore of liabilities.
The stake sale failed to attract any interest. In June, a group of ministers decided not to go ahead with the Air India stake sale in an election year.
While AIATSL earned Rs 61.66 crore profit in 2016-17, another subsidiary Air India Express earned Rs 297 crore profit. Other subsidiaries of Air India include Air India Charters, IAL Airport Services, Airline Allied Services, Air India Engineering Services and Hotel Corporation of India.
Besides catering services provider AISATS, a 50:50 joint venture between Air India and SATS Ltd, too posted a profit of Rs 66.06 crore in 2016-17.
AIATSL was incorporated in June 2003 with the objective of carrying on the business of providing all types of services at airports. Under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, AIATSL is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Air India.
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