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Selling even minority stake in Air India not a cakewalk

At least one attempt almost two decades ago failed amid fierce political opposition

Anurag Kotoky | Bloomberg 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet has signed off on a plan to sell all or part of Air India, a debt-ridden, state-run carrier with the most unusual baggage. The airline’s balance sheet includes commercial space near London Heathrow, land in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Nairobi, all bought during the heydays when the airline commissioned paintings by Indian modern artists and hired surrealist painter Salvador Dali in the 1960s to design ashtrays. Then there’s about $8 billion in debt, a money-losing airline operation, five subsidiary companies and a joint venture, ...

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First Published: Wed, July 12 2017. 23:20 IST