Delhi-Kolkata Air India flight aborted following bomb scare

Delhi-Kolkata Air India flight aborted following bomb scare

Delhi-Kolkata Air India flight aborted following bomb scare

The Central government on Wednesday revealed that it would be selling 76 per cent stake in debt-ridden national carrier Air India through an auction process.

In his budget speech for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said: "The government has also initiated the process of strategic disinvestment in 24 central public sector enterprises".

According to the bid document, the selected bidder would need to retain its stake in Air India and management control of the airline for at least three years.

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But all good things must come at a cost and in the case of Air India, the cost that the new owners pay will have to factor in the Rs 33,392 crore (roughly $5 billion) of debt and current liabilities that will remain on Air India Ltd's book. El Al has stated that Air India had been prioritized, which violates the basic principles of fair competition.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) today termed "suicidal" the government's decision to privatise Air India and demanded it to roll-back the move. "Slots can be utilized to take benefit of India's favorable geographic position in global air travel market and develop hub for worldwide operations".

India's biggest airline, Indigo, has expressed an interest in the proposal and an undisclosed foreign buyer is also said to be looking at the deal. Modi in January tweaked rules in January to include Air India which wasn't a part of those rules until then.

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Air India had 11,214 permanent employees as on December 1, 2017.

On March 22, Air India's maiden flight to Israel landed in Tel Aviv, reducing the travel time substantially after Saudi Arabia for the first time allowed a commercial flight to use its airspace, indicating a thaw in relations between the Arab kingdom and the Jewish state. Besides, Air India would divest 100 per cent stake in Air India Express and 50 per cent shareholding in AISATS, an equal joint venture with Singapore-based SATS.

During the same period, Air India Express had 555 slots at different domestic and worldwide airports. "The passengers were offloaded to carry out the security drills", Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Bhatia said.

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