The process has already gained momentum with the appointment of Deloitte as advisor for the strategic sale. The only obstacle now is employee resistance. But unions are sounding less hostile than they initially did.
Air India is a different story, in terms of being less attractive to investors because of gross mismanagement and heavy losses for years. Foreigners will be discouraged by the rule that limits their stake to 49%, while for domestic airlines, acquiring Air India doesn’t make commercial sense. But the government, which once tried but failed to get rid of the company, seems determined. The case is compelling. It is trying to make it attractive by reducing the debt of the airline. Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri has informed Parliament that GoI will have to shut the airline if it does not find takers.
The government will have to take some innovative and decisive steps to sell the airline.