- Currently, Air India has a debt of more than Rs 52,000 crore
- There was no official word from the government on the matter
- Tatas already have two airline (Vistara and AirAsia India) joint ventures
There was no official word from the government but sources said the Civil Aviation Ministry is keen on retaining the national carrier status of Air India.
Tatas had no comment. "We do not comment on such matters," a spokesperson at Tata Group said in an emailed statement.
One scenario being discussed is that the government would retain 51 per cent stake and the rest 49 per cent could be sold to private players, which could include foreign players. The government is also looking at various options such as selling off non-core assets to reduce the airline's debt burden.
For Tatas, it would be more of a home coming. Air India traces its roots to Tata Airlines, which was formed back in 1932. Set up by Tatas, the carrier was made a public company and was rechristened as Air India. Later, it was nationalised. Currently, Air India has a debt of more than Rs 52,000 crore.
Recently, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the aviation ministry has to explore all possibilities "as to how the privatisation of Air India can be done".
Tatas already have two airline joint ventures -- Vistara and AirAsia India.