World Economy

Air India Sale Hangs in Balance

Air India Sale Hangs in BalanceAir India Sale Hangs in Balance

Uncertainty hangs over the Indian government's plans to sell Air India as onetime prospective buyers shun the troubled carrier, Nikkei reported. Asked whether Singapore Airlines was still interested in bidding, CEO Goh Choon Phong replied that he had said no such thing and that any developments on this front would be announced. The executive remarked that Singapore Air looks to focus Indian operations on Vistara, a joint venture with the Tata group conglomerate that plans to begin international service in the latter half of the year. Vistara is seen as "the undisputed leader in terms of product quality and services" in India, Goh said.Senior executives at Singapore Air have repeatedly said to "keep the option open" on the potential bid for Air India. Goh's comment struck a decidedly more negative tone toward that. The government wants to sell 76% of Air India along with all of Air India Express. As of March 28, prospective buyers were required to submit expressions of interest by May 14, with qualified interested bidders to be informed May 28.

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