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Vistara evaluating throwing its hat in the ring for Air India

Vistara is considering submit an EoI for Air India and is evaluating the proposition serious, the company’s Chairman Bhaskar Bhat said
New Delhi: Vistara is considering submit an EoI (Expression of Interest) for Air India and is evaluating the proposition serious, the company’s Chairman Bhaskar Bhat said on Monday. “Which company would not be interested in evaluating a sovereign airline of the country?” said Bhat.

‘We are a joint venture’

On being asked whether Tata Sons or Vistara is evaluating putting in a bid for Air India, Bhat said, “We are a joint venture.” Bhat was speaking at an event to induct Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that will be used to fly long-haul international flights. The Vistara CMD also added that the airline is looking at starting services to destinations like London, France, Tokyo and Moscow and is awaiting approvals for the flight.

Bid submission deadline could be extended

The Centre could extend the March 17 deadline for the submission of bids for Air India, sources aware of the matter said last month. The inter-ministerial panel led by Home Minister Amit Shah is soon expected to decide a new date. DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management), which is overseeing the Air India disinvestment process, has already extended the deadline for bidders to raise queries from February 11 to March 6.

More bid-related queries expected to come in for Air India, say sources

Sources said that the deadline has been extended because more queries are expected to come in and will be clarified by the Transaction Advisor and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. After a previous failed attempt, the government is looking to get a good response for the sale of its 100 percent stake in Air India this time. The Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism is headed by Home Minister Amit Shah and comprises of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.