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British Airways, Lufthansa, SIA ‘eye Air India’

April 16, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

British Airways, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and an unnamed Gulf carrier are among airlines interested in buying into Air India, according to a report in the Times of India.

Sources told the paper that the foreign carriers were in talks with Indian business houses to meet the criterion of “substantial ownership and control”.

A foreign airline can have a joint venture in India as long as it has a local partner with at least 51% stake and effective control, the paper says. Foreign carriers forming a consortium to bid for Air India under the Indian Government’s Air India disinvestment process would need to meet that stipulation.

The report quoted unnamed sources saying discussions aimed at buying into the Indian airline currently involved, separately, a medium-sized domestic carrier, the head of an international airline, and a leading Indian industrial house.

The government has offered to sell 76% of the loss-making Indian national carrier and will transfer a substantial chunk of its debt into a separate company.

Two Indian carriers, Jet and IndiGo, have said they are not interested in bidding for Air India under current terms of sale.

Written by Peter Needham

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