IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways have shown interest in ailing national carrier Air India, a government official told The Economic Times.
This time the government is offering 100% stake in Air India after it failed to sell 76% stake last year.
Among the two suitors, IndiGo can bid to own 100% in Air India but Etihad can own only 49% under the current foreign direct investment (FDI) norms. However, Etihad can bid for 100% stake in Air India by tying up with either Abu Dhabi Investment Authority or National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.
Meanwhile, the Hinduja Group, run by brothers Gopichand Hinduja and Ashok Hinduja, is preparing a bid to buy grounded carrier Jet Airways, people familiar with the matter told the Business Standard.
They plan to submit an expression of interest by the 15 January deadline. However, Hinduja is seeking a partner to bid, one of the persons said.
Hinduja had earlier this year considered bidding for Jet Airways in partnership with Etihad, but Etihad jettisoned the proposal and Jet Airways tipped into bankruptcy. Jet Airways is 24% owned by Etihad.