Air India, Airlines, Aviation Business, Disinvestment

After IndiGo, Jet Airways drops idea of Air India bid

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New Delhi: Jet Airways has become the second major Indian airline to rule out a bid for debt-laden Air India. The move comes four days after IndiGo’s decision to back out of bidding. “The company examined the possibility of taking over the struggling national carrier, but had decided not to do so. Considering the terms of the offer in the information memorandum and based on our review, we are not participating in the process,” Jet Airways deputy chief executive officer Amit Agarwal told the Financial Times.

Jet Airways along with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines showed interested in participating in Air India disinvestment, people in the know told the Press Trust of India last month. The Naresh Goyal-led airline reported a 46 per cent drop in third-quarter profit, hurt by higher fuel expenses. Net profit for the three months ended December 31 stood at Rs 165 crore (USD 25.74 million) versus Rs 305 crore in the year ago quarter. Revenue from operations grew 10.4 per cent to Rs 6,086 crore.Read: Swiss aviation firm shows interest in acquiring debt-laden Air India, says report

Last week, IndiGo — India’s largest domestic airline — said was opting out of buying Air India because the terms set by the government were unfavourable. Meanwhile, global advisory firm Swiss Aviation Consulting (SAC) showed interest in bidding for Air India. The move, however, did not look serious and the Swiss company may only be scouting for clients. The European company offers services including aircraft asset management and sales and consultancy services on acquisitions, according to its website.

The government may relax the deadline for submitting an expression of interest to buy 76 per cent in state-owned carrier Air India. However, the structure of the deal will remain unchanged with no plans to split the international and domestic businesses of the airline, media reported.
The government, which fully owns money-losing flag carrier Air India, put the company on the block late last month, seeking to sell a 76 per cent stake. Experts are of the view that the stake sale will go a long way in helping the government realise its disnivestment target for the year besides finding a solution to the controversial issue of having to continue bailing out the loss-making national carrier.

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