The government has started work on the proposed sale of Air India subsidiaries, with road shows underway for talks with potential suitors including Bird Group, Celebi Aviation and I Squared Capital.
“Roadshows are underway with potential buyers. We already have cabinet approval for the sale of all subsidiaries.” an official told Business Today. It currently owns four subsidiaries of Air India – Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), Airline Allied Services Ltd (AASL) or Alliance Air, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AISL) and Hotel Corporation of India Ltd (HCI). Air India Assets Holding Ltd, a special purpose vehicle established in 2019 to hold the ancillary assets and liabilities of Air India. Sources tell us Bird Group, Celebi Aviation and I Squared Capital have expressed interest in taking over AIATSL.
“We have been in communication with Bird Group for some time. Our plan is to monetize the subsidiaries and offset liabilities as soon as possible. Fees are increasing and debt is increasing,” the official said.
Bird Group is one of the largest third party ground handling companies based in Delhi. Celebi Aviation Holding is a ground handling company based in Turkey and I Squared Capital is a private equity firm focused on global infrastructure investments. The central government earlier this year transferred ownership of Air India to the Tata Group after the group emerged as the winning bidder to buy the loss-making carrier.