TATA Group Unlikely To Bid For Air India

| April 11 , 2018 , 17:57 IST

As per sources, TATA Group is unlikely to consider a bid for the state-run carrier Air India as the government's terms are just too onerous, sources have said. Tata-Singapore Airlines (SIA) JV Vistara was the only airline other than IndiGo which had officially expressed interest in the sale.

This comes as a blow for Air India who is keen to sell the loss-making, debt-ridden airline. They finalised plans in late March to divest a 76 percent stake and offload about $5.1 billion of its debt.

The government has stipulated that the winning bidder will not be able to merge the airline with their existing businesses as long as the government has a stake. They also would need to abide by conditions designed to safeguard employee interests, restricting its ability to cut staff.

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Jet Airways and Indigo have since pulled out of the race to bid since the terms have come out.

Tata Group, which already owns stakes in two airline joint-ventures in India, does not see "how a deal would be workable" under the current terms, said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.