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As the government works out modalities for Air India disinvestment, two more companies have expressed interest in buying the national carrier’s ground-handling operations, official sources said.
A group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Wednesday held discussions on the stake sale modalities. It is at least the third meeting of the group so far this month.
Official sources said Menzies Aviation Dubai and Mumbai-headquartered diversified Livewel group have shown interest in Air India’s ground-handling operations.
A subsidiary of the airline, Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) provides ground-handling services. Earlier, aviation service provider Bird Group and Turkey’s Celebi had expressed their interest in AIATSL.
Air India, which has been in the red for long, is staying afloat on taxpayers’ money and the disinvestment decision has been taken as part of efforts to revive the airline.
Last week, Jaitley said the process for Air India disinvestment is moving “quite well” and transaction advisors would be appointed soon.
Meanwhile, specific details about Wednesday’s meeting of the ministerial group could not be immediately ascertained.
On June 28, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had given its in-principle nod for strategic divestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries.
Subsequently, an Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism was set up to guide the process.