Singapore Air may bid for Al

On Wednesday the cabinet rubber-stamped plans to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49% in Air India subject to government approval

Even though the Union Cabinet has allowed foreign airlines to pick up 49 per cent stake in Air India, global players are likely to stay away unless the government agrees to hand over management control of the airline to them.

The Indian government is in the process of finalising the modalities for the strategic disinvestment of debt-laden Air India. "Allowing foreign airlines to participate will increase the number of interested bidders and the valuation", aviation consultancy firm CAPA, said.

Singapore Airlines owns a 49% stake in full service carrier Vistara.

"Air India has been facing losses for the past many years on account of a multitude of factors like high fuel prices, high-interest burden, increasing competition especially from low-priced carriers, high debt-equity ratio, and high airport charges", Jayant Sinha, India's Minister of State for Civil Aviation said last week. Air India, today, flies one of the youngest, state-of-the-art, fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, its latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft. "But it should not allow any individual business house to hold a major stake".

Liam Neeson springs into action in a new clip from The Commuter
These two playing off of each other makes for great conflict and I'd love to see them work together again. Collet-Serra isn't pompous enough to package The Commuter as stirring commentary on that global meltdown.

The NDA government's move to allow FDI by foreign airlines in debt-ridden national carrier Air India upto 49 per cent is a reversal of the previous UPA-2 government's decision to keep Air India out of the FDI policy.

"It has now been made a decision to do away with this restriction and allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India.", the release said.

The cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod to several amendments in the FDI policy, including foreign investments in Air India under the approval route, which is subject to certain conditions.

He said that Air India has some very good assets and that it should be utilised well.

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