Government puts stake sale of Air India on hold till 2019-20

The central government has decided to not go ahead with Air India’s stake sale in the election year 2019-20 and will provide the funds required for its continued operations. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting held on June 18, 2018. Though earlier the government had invited bids from interested bidders to buy a 76 per cent equity stake in the airline, retaining the other 24 per cent stake, it failed to get a response. As a result, the stake sale has been kept on the back burner for now, as the government is expected to resume the privatisation drive after the elections. Meanwhile, the government will infuse funds into Air India for its day-to-day operations and will even place orders for a few aircraft. The government has already allocated Rs 6.5 billion for the airline during the current financial year and the airline has appealed for an additional Rs 20 billion to meet its working capital requirements.