The government will start roadshows for privatisation of ailing state-run Air India this week in Singapore with Disinvestment Secretary T.K. Pandey along with senior aviation ministry and Air India officials to brief the prospective buyers for complete stake sale in the airline.
Sources said Pandey will be in Singapore this week along with senior aviation ministry and Air India officials to meet prospective bidders, address their concerns on Air India debt position, employee issues, and start the roadshows.
There are possibilities now for Air India expression of interest (EoI) to be floated this month after this meeting. The national carrier has a debt of Rs. 57,000 crore and the bids will be invited for 100 per cent stake.
Once the roadshows start, this will mark the start of privatisation of Air India at the ground level, sources said.
Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola and Air India management have been discussing with the trade unions assuring them of security even after privatisation. The unions are opposed to privatisation fearing job losses.
As part of efforts to clean up the balance sheet of Air India before stake sale, around Rs. 30,000 crore of its debt is proposed to be repaid by way of proceeds from the issuance of bonds by its special purpose vehicle, Air India Asset Holding (AIAHL).