The government of India has decided to extend the date for submission of expression of interest for the sale of 76 percent stake in Air India from the existing deadline of May 14 to May 31.
It has further come out with a set of new clarifications on the proposed strategic disinvestment of the flag carrier airline of India and further clarified that individuals other than the airline's employees will not be allowed to bid.
The government of India had issued a preliminary information memorandum dated March 28 for the prospective sale in Air India to the tune of up to 76 percent stake which includes management control to the successful private entity.
The Air India divestment will also include profit-making Air India Express and the joint venture AISATS, an equity-based joint venture between the national carrier and the Singapore based SATS Limited.
The government has so far put out clarifications in response to the set of 160 questions from the interested bidders on the disinvestment of the Air India along with its two subsidiaries - Air India Express and AISATS.
Clarifications are being provided for slots, employee rights, and bilateral rights apart from various other aspects.
As per the document released by the government of India, it has clarified that "individuals (other than employees) are not allowed to bid".
"Details of existing slots and codeshare agreements will be provided at RFP (Request for Proposal) stage. It is further expected that there will not be any impact of disinvestment on existing slots and bilateral rights."
"Bidders are advised to undertake their own assessment for the impact of disinvestment process on the existing codeshare agreement," the government said.
This response from the government is related to the queries on whether privatization will affect the renewal of the existing slots and bilateral flying rights.
The government responded to a query related to staff and said that the "employee concerns are being suitably addressed".
"Grounded aircraft are assets of Air India. Successful bidder/ Air India post strategic disinvestment can deal with them/ dispose of as deemed fit subject to the terms and conditions of the Shareholders' Agreement," it further added.
The government had issued an information memorandum during March, which stated that it will retain 24 percent stake in Air India and the winning bidder will be required to stay invested in Air India for a period of at least three years.
The government in its clarification added that "it is a considered decision by Government of India to retain 24 percent stake".