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Air India divestment will see strong interest: CAPA

International aviation consultancy firm has said that this time the Outlook for the performance of Indian carriers is different in light of the suspension of Jet’s operations and the recent softening of oil prices
Mumbai: The international aviation consultancy firm CAPA India has said that government's latest move to divest Air India Ltd is expected to garner strong interest this time, especially from leading global carriers who could potentially tie-up with large Indian conglomerates to bid for the airline. "Interest is likely to be strong this time around. CAPA does not rule out the possibility of some leading global carriers – including those from the Gulf – participating in the tender, in a JV (joint venture) with large Indian conglomerates," CAPA India said in a report, Divestment of Air India: Revisiting Key Success Factors, which was released on Wednesday.
"Interest is likely to be strong this time around. CAPA does not rule out the possibility of some leading global carriers – including those from the Gulf – participating in the tender, in a JV (joint venture) with large Indian conglomerates," CAPA India
"The current global and national economic environment, and geopolitical instability may have some impact on investor sentiment. However, the outlook for the performance of Indian carriers remains positive, especially in light of the suspension of Jet’s operations and the recent softening of oil prices," the report added. During 2018, the government failed in its attempt to sell a 76% stake in loss-making Air India due to a lack of interest from bidders but said it would return with an alternative proposal soon. However, the government had in June 2019 said that its plans to sell debt-laden state-run carrier Air India were still on track for 2019-2020.
"During 2018, the government failed in its attempt to sell a 76% stake in loss-making Air India due to a lack of interest from bidders but said it would return with an alternative proposal soon"
The government's optimism to sell its stake in Air India comes from the fact that Brent Crude prices have fallen 12.23% during the last 12 months. The crude price stood at $65.17 a barrel on Wednesday, down from $74.25 a barrel during the year-ago period, according to Bloomberg data. CAPA India in its report said that Air India's divestment should consist of the airline operations only, namely Air India, Air India Express and optionally Air India Regional, which should be sold along with aircraft-related debt and reasonable working capital loans.