Tata Group reportedly submitted an expression of interest (EoI) for the debt-laden national carrier Air India over the weekend, the deadline for which ends on Monday, December 14.
The salt-to-software conglomerate has filed the EoI through AirAsia India, where Tata Sons holds a substantial majority stake.
A group of 200 Air India employees is also likely to file an expression of interest, the deadline for which ends on Monday (5 pm), and has claimed to have a financial investor on board, the Times of India reported.
The beleaguered national airline has a lot of interests this time around, unlike in May 2018 when the first attempt to sell 76% stake in Air India failed to attract any suitors.
Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who had said in 2019 that Air India will have to shut down if it's not privatised, stated on Sunday, December 13, that the national carrier's divestment is a "confidential procedure" and that the "concerned department (DIPAM) will comment at the appropriate time."
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines (SIA), with which Tata Sons runs the premier full-service airline Vistara, will not be a part of the bid as it would only add to Vistara's and its own financial woes.
The Southeast Asian company is in the process of raising funds following its biggest quarterly loss in the wake of a slump in travel demand due to the coronavirus crisis.
The publication, citing sources, also stated that as AirAsia India was created before Vistara, the former's agreement allows it to enter the full-service business.