Ministerial Panel Gives Green Light To Air India Divestment; AIATSL And Pawan Hans To Be Sold Off

Ministerial Panel Gives Green Light To Air India Divestment; AIATSL And Pawan Hans To Be Sold OffA newly acquired Cessna 208A amphibian seaplane by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd in 2010. (Photo by Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Following unsuccessful attempts to revive the failing national carrier, ‘The Alternative Mechanism’, a ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has decided to sell the government’s 100 per cent stake in Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) a subsidiary of Air India, as well as divesting its stake in Pawan Hans, reports DNA.

The panel cleared the proposal for the strategic sale in a meeting on Tuesday (27 November). AIATSL is Air India’s ground handling subsidiary, while Pawan Hans is a helicopter service company. The meeting was attended by Jaitley and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, as well as senior government bureaucrats.

"The Alternative Mechanism has approved EoI together with Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) for Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) sale," aviation secretary R N Choubey announced before reporters in the national capital.

AIATSL was established in 2003 with an aim to carry airport handling services of Air India, including security, cargo, ramps, etc.

The proceeds from the sale will be utilised to pay off Air India’s debt. The government had previously tried to sell off a 76 per cent stake in the national carrier, but that offer failed to attract any bidders. The current divestment in Air India subsidiaries is part of the government plan to revive the airline.