Aviation is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy. This was stated by the Minister of Commerce and Industry while assuming additional charge of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Speaking on this occasion the Minister said that the Open Skies Policy is leading to tremendous growth in the aviation sector and the benefits of this growth will be seen in increased employment generation.
The four-day biennial event ‘WINGS INDIA 2018 jointly organized by Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India and FICCI got underway in Hyderabad today. The theme of the four-day biennial event this year is ‘India-Global Aviation Hub’. WINGS INDIA 2018 is a platform for interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players & stakeholders. The event was attended by senior ministers of Telangana Government and senior officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, AAI and representatives from FICCI.
The government that they aim to complete the privatisation of Air India and transfer the assets to a new private entity by December of this year, about five months before the Parliamentary elections to be held in 2019. "The information memorandum will be out soon. Plan is to call bids for four separate entities, which will be bid out simultaneously. We plan to decide on the winning bidder by June of this year and conclude the legal formalities (transferring the assets to the bidder) by December this year," aviation minister Jayant Sinha told reporters.
Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Aviation, a private bidder will be allowed to pick up 51 per cent or more stake in Air India. He said the management control will be transferred into private hands. Apart from IndiGo, a foreign airline has sent a confidential letter showing interest in Air India. The Minister declined to from say from which region or part of the world the foreign airline was. The successful bidder will be announced by end June and the entire legal process of privatisation of Air India will be completed by December this year.
Sh. Ashok Gajapati Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation has informed that key revisions in Scheme under 2nd Round of RCS-UDAN covering Priority areas, operational flexibility, Helicopter operations, etc have been made. He informed that, “In pursuance of the Government policy relating to “Ease of Doing Business” and “UDAN- facilitating regional air connectivity by making it affordable for masses”, the following key policy initiatives have been taken under UDAN-2. Sh Jayant Sinha, |MOS, Civil Aviation, Sh Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary and senior officials were also present on the occasion.
With the government taking quick steps for divesting its stake in Air India, Mohnish Pabrai, a leading US based value investor says that a combination of IndiGo and Singapore Airlines would be ideal buyer for the state-run carrier. Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha said that the government is looking to close the stake sale by 2018-end. Sharing his viewpoint on the government’s decision to cap foreign investment into Air India, Mohnish Pabrai said, “I would make it that even a foreign entity can come in and buy 100% of Air India without any issues. I would focus on other pieces which are more important and which is taking care of the people, thus creating an entity that has a strong viable future.
India will break up its debt-burdened flag carrier into four separate companies and offer to sell at least 51 percent in each of them as part of a disinvestment proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The core airline business comprising Air India and Air India Express the low-cost overseas arm will be offered as one company, and the process will be completed by the end of 2018.
State-owned AAI plans to have a national strategy for airports development and formulation of model concession agreements amid growing passenger traffic, which is expected to touch 322 million in 2018-19, according to its chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra. Pursuing ambitious expansion plans, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is preparing to commence “mega projects of new terminal buildings” at 14 aerodromes this year. “AAI is deliberating on national strategy for airports development and operations and formulation of model concession agreements.