New Delhi: The Union Government will split state-run carrier Air India into four separate companies and offer at least 51 percent in each of them as part of a divestment plan proposed by the government, as per reports.
The debt-laden airline would be divided into core airline business, regional arm, ground handling and engineering operations, the report added.
The core airline business comprising Air India and Air India Express, the low-cost overseas arm, will be offered as one company, and the process will be completed by the end of 2018, Junior Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha told reporters.
The government last week allowed foreign airlines to own up to 49 percent stake in national carrier Air India at a time when the process for strategic disinvestment of the debt-laden airline is on.
While allowing foreign investors, including overseas airlines, to have stake in Air India, the government has also made it clear that the national carrier’s substantial ownership would remain with an Indian national.
Surviving on taxpayers’ money, Air India is estimated to have a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore. Various efforts are being made to improve the financial performance of the national airline, including by way of sale of non-core assets.