Air India Disinvestment – All you need to know

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The first scheduled service of Air India, then Tata Airlines, was inaugurated by JRD Tata in 1932.

1946: Tata Airlines was converted into a public company after World War II and renamed Air-India Limited.

 Nationalisation of Air India : It has since seen change of names several times as the private company was nationalised in 1953.  India nationalised all Indian airlines and created two corporations — one for domestic services and the other for international. The entity serving domestic routes was called the Indian Airlines Corporation, which merged Air-India Limited with six lesser lines. The international service provider was called Air-India International Corporation. 

2001: The NDA government, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, made the first ever attempt to conduct a strategic sale of the airline. 40% of Air-India’s equity was put on the block.  

2005: Air-India removed the hyphen from its name and became Air India. The move aimed to gain a competitive advantage in computerised reservation searches as ticket bookings increasingly started to go digital.

2007: Air India merged with its domestic unit Indian Airlines.

Credits : News18

2018: The government one again tried to sell the national carrier, which had by then accumulated debt exceeding Rs 50,000 crore and other liabilities. However, this time, the government decided to hold on to 24% of the equity in the airline. It did not receive a single bid.

2020: Air India was back on the strategic sale table in January 2020. This time, the government said it would offload 100% of its stake in the company. In October, it announced a deadline of December 14. At least two bids were received — one from Tata Sons and the other from a consortium of a section of Air India employees and Interups Inc, a US-based financial investment firm. SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh was also in the race.

2021:  In April, the Centre asked the qualified interested bidders, Tata Sons and SpiceJet, to submit final bids. Tata Sons clinched the deal as a panel of ministers accepted a proposal from officials who recommended the group’s bid over Ajay Singh’s. 

What is Disinvestment: Disinvestment refers to the sale or liquidation of assets by the government, usually Central and state public sector enterprises, projects, or other fixed assets.

What is Strategic Disinvestment? : Strategic Disinvestment refers to sale of more than 50% Ownership by the Government.

Today’s News : Tata Sons’ chief N Chandrasekaran appointed Air India chairman.

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