Govt extends deadline to bid for Air India till June 30

Govt extends deadline to bid for Air India by 2 months till June 30

COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economic activity globally with many countries announcing lockdown to contain the virus spread. (Credit: Reuters Photo)

Government on Tuesday extended the deadline to submit bid documents for Air India by two months to June 30, on account of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is the second time the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has extended the deadline to submit bid documents since the process of Air India disinvestment was initiated on January 27.

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When the government had issued the Preliminary Investment Memorandum inviting bids for 100 per cent sale of Air India, the last date for submitting expression of interest was March 17. It was first extended to April 30.

Besides offering its entire stake in Air India, the government had also put on sale Air India Express along with its joint venture Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited.

“We will revisit it when other pressing issues are resolved,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said earlier this month referring to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. He was responding to questions on the delay in Air India disinvestment process.

The successful bidder for Air India will be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore of the airliner’s debt.

This is the second time the government has offered Air India for sale as a previous attempt in 2018 failed to generate any interest as it had offered 76% stake in the airline.