On Tuesday, the government extended the deadline to submit expressions of interest for acquiring Air India by two months, to 30 October. In a statement, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said the extension was given "as per the requests received from the interested bidders in view of the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19."
Qualifying bidders will be intimated by 20 November, it said.
Through its divestment process, the government wants to completely exit the national carrier instead of the earlier offer of 76 percent stake as it did not find suitors.
When Air India was initially put on the block in January, the deadline to submit bids was 31 March. It was later extended to 30 June and then to 31 August.
The Government of India will sell 100 percent stake in Air India and low cost subsidiary Air India Express, and 50 percent stake in ground handling company AISATS (Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Limited). It has reduced the debt of the loss-making airline to Rs 23,286 crore, which the buyers will have to assume, transferring the rest to Air India Assets Holding Ltd.