The Indian Government has announced its complete withdrawal from ownership of Air India – it controls 76% of the company at present.
At the same time it will sell its stake in Air India Express and in ground handling service ASIATS, which is a joint venture with Singapore Airlines.
Air India staff will be offered a share ownership scheme, once that is settled the remaining shares will be sold on the open market.
The government expects to be completely divested within 12 months.
As part of the process two 777-300’s that are due to be delivered for VVIP use will be managed by the Indian Air Force with contract support from Air India technical personnel.
In addition, the government is looking at ways to isolate the companies ‘old’ debt to leave it with a reasonably clean slate for new owners.
Air India operates 185 aircraft, roughly 60 of them long haul 787 and 777’s.