Air India privatisation: Etihad Airways mulls bid for ailing national carrier, sends feelers to Anil Ambani's ADAG

Etihad Airways, the UAE's second-largest airline, is reportedly planning to bid for the debt-laden Air India group and has sent out feelers to the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG).

“Etihad is scouting for partners to form a consortium to bid for Air India and is in discussion with companies, including the Anil Ambani group,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying by the Business Standard.

The newspaper further said that talks are unlikely to translate into a partnership. However, Etihad Airways' feelers to an Indian company indicates there exists considerable foreign interest in the troubled national carrier. A buyer has to take on a debt of around Rs 33,000 crore.

Another potential bidder could be the Tata group , which could put down a bid along with a foreign partner. The Tatas already run two airline joint-ventures in India.

 Air India privatisation: Etihad Airways mulls bid for ailing national carrier, sends feelers to Anil Ambanis ADAG

Representational image. AFP

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Fortune, citing a senior Air India official, reported that several international airlines including British Airways and Singapore Airlines have evinced an interest in buying the national carrier.

The unnamed official told the magazine that Germany's Lufthansa, Etihad and Malaysian Airlines are also interested in Air India.

On Tuesday, Jet Airways said it will not participate in the Air India divestment process. The development assumed significance as it came days after rival IndiGo said that it would not bid for Air India under the "current divestiture plans".

The government has invited expressions of interest to off-load a 76 percent stake in the airline.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Apr 13, 2018 12:44:15 IST