The government has started work on the proposed sale of Air India subsidiaries with road shows underway for discussions with prospective bidders including the Bird Group, Celebi Aviation and I Squared Capital.
"We have roadshows going on with prospective bidders. We already have cabinet approval for selling all the subsidiaries." an official told Business Today.
Currently, four Air India subsidiaries-- Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), Airline Allied Services Ltd (AASL) or Alliance Air, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) and Hotel Corporation of India Ltd (HCI) are held by the Air India Assets Holding Ltd, a special purpose vehicle set up in 2019 for holding the non-core assets and debt of Air India.
Sources tell us that Bird Group, Celebi Aviation, and I Squared Capital have shown interest in taking over AIATSL. "We have been in communication with the Bird Group for some time now. Our plan is to monetise the subsidiaries, and set-off liabilities as soon as possible. The dues are increasing and adding to the debt," an official said.
Bird Group is one of the largest third-party ground handling companies based out of Delhi. Celebi Aviation Holding is a ground handling company based out of Turkey and I Squared Capital is a private equity firm focusing on global infrastructure investment.
The central government earlier this year transferred the ownership of Air India to Tata Group, after the latter emerged as the winning bidder for buying the loss-making carrier.
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