Just days after the government invited bids for a stake sale in Air India, a report in The Hindu has revealed that advisory firm Swiss Aviation Consulting is interested in acquiring the debt-ridden airline.
The Hunenberg-headquartered firm offers services such as aircraft asset management, aircraft sales and acquisition support, risk management and more. Established in 2005, the firm had shown interest in buying Air India months before the government formally invited bidders. It had reportedly shared its keenness with the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Other foreign companies that could bid include Singapore Airlines with the Tata group and Air France KLM with Jet Airways.
In its offer, contours of which were revealed last week, the government has invited bids for management control and 76 per cent share in Air India along with its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express and 50 per cent stake in AISATS, a ground-handling joint venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Services. The last date for submission of Expression of Interest is 14 May 2018.
This development comes at a time when IndiGo, India’s largest domestic airline, has said that it will not bid to acquire Air India. The airline has reportedly said that the terms set by the government would not suit it as its interest only lay in the national carrier’s international operations and subsidiary Air India Express.
“However, that option is not available under the government’s current divestiture plans for Air India,” IndiGo’s President Aditya Ghosh said, adding, “ we do not believe that we have the capability to take on the task of acquiring and successfully turning around all of Air India’s operations”.
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