The sale of the debt-ridden Air India to Tata Sons is a “momentous day for 130 crore people and India’s civil aviation”, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told NDTV today. The Civil Aviation Minister said he is confident that the sector, which has been particularly hit hard by the slowdown in travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will improve soon.
“It’s a momentous day for India’s 130 crore people. It’s also a momentous day for civil aviation. An airline that has been bleeding Rs 20 crore a day and Rs 7,500 crore a year over the last few years… this disinvestment process has been extremely thorough, extremely rigorous, and has resulted in a landmark outcome under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, DIPAM and the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” Mr Scindia told NDTV.
Tata Sons will acquire Air India, 50 per cent of the catering business Air India-SATS, and Air India Express for Rs 18,000 crore, after it beat a Rs 15,100 crore offer by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh. Of this, the government will get Rs 2,700 crore in cash while Tata Sons will take the rest as debt. The transaction does not include non-core assets including land and building, valued at Rs 14,718 crore, which are to be transferred to the government’s Air India Asset Holding Ltd or AIAHL.