Soon after the government cleared the decks for the disinvestment of Air India, private carrier IndiGo has shown interest in buying the overseas business of the loss-making airline. IndiGo has high probability of buying Air India’s overseas business since it has been profitable for nine consecutive years and is the largest airline in terms of market share. It may be recalled that IndiGo commands more than 40 percent market share. IndiGo’s interest in buying the overseas business of the state-owned airline was confirmed by Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey.
In a letter that IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh wrote to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, it has been stated that IndiGo has a strong balance sheet, has been profitable for several years and has an extensive domestic network. All these factors make IndiGo an ideal candidate for acquiring the overseas business of Air India, the letter said.
However, the government is still to take a decision about demerging Air India’s overseas business. “A process has been initiated, whether to demerge Air India’s international business or its other subsidiaries or to sell it as one entity will be decided by the alternative mechanism that has been set up,” Minister of State for Aviation Jayant Sinha said.