Whoever buys Air India will not be allowed to change the brand name of the national carrier. "The confirmed selected bidder shall ensure that the company shall continue using the "Air India" brands. The terms of such usage will be as set out in the definitive documents," a bid document issued on Monday said.
Also, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday reiterated the successful bidder would continue to use Air India brand.
Puri said that Air India is a "great asset" along with Air India Express. The government has proposed to sell its entire stake in debt-laden Air India and has issued the preliminary bid document for the strategic disinvestment. Air India would also sell 100 per cent stake in low-cost airline Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS), a 50:50 joint venture between Air India and SATS Limited. The last date for submission of bids for Air India will be March 17, 2020.
In the previous attempt, the government had offered only 76 per cent equity in the airline with the debt obligation of Rs 62,000 crore. The networth for potential bidders was also fixed at Rs 5,000 crore net worth.
Like last time, the government, however, has mandated that the bidder will continue to use the 'Air India' brand name and cannot change it post the acquisition.
By Chitranjan Kumar