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videos | IST

Air India stake sale: Here’s why government is still confident

There are only two days to go for interested parties to submit their expression of interest for buying 76% stake in Air India.
However, the proposed divestment of the national carrier has not really gone off to a flying start.
Despite a lukewarm response so far, sources tell CNBC-TV18 that the government is unlikely to extend the deadline for submitting formal expression of interest for the Maharajah. The deadline has already been extended from May 15 to May 31.
Government officials are still confident of getting a positive response within the May 31 deadline.
The government is confident because of the fact that most of the divestment processes have seen people coming and submitting their formal expression of interest only during the last two or three days.
Top sources close to the divestment process further say that there has been "lukewarm response" from Indian airlines and non aviation entities in the country. "We are hoping to get foreign investors. The transaction advisor (Earnt &Young) has been holding roadshows for past three weeks in Europe and Asia," said the same official.
The government is looking at divesting 76% of its stake in Air India but will be retaining 24%.
The Civil Aviation Ministry put out clarifications for 160 questions from interested bidders on the disinvestment of Air India and its two subsidiaries -- Air India Express and AISATS.
The government had subsequently issued a corrigendum on May 1 that extends the deadline for announcing the successful bidder to June 15, 2018.
On asked whether 2018 end remains the Narendra Modi led government's target for divesting the national carrier, sources said, "we are on track."