Singapore Airlines will keep options open on AI disinvestment

Vastavam web: Singapore Airlines today said it will keep options open on Air India stake after the government allowed foreign carriers to own up to 49 per cent in the national carrier.The response was for queries related to the government permitting foreign airlines to have up to 49 per cent stake in Air India and whether Singapore Airlines would bid for the carrier.Singapore Airlines owns 49 per cent stake in full service carrier Vistara, while the remaining shareholding is with the Tatas.

Besides, the Singapore Airlines group has significant number of flights connecting various Indian cities.”It has now been decided to do away with this restriction and allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India,” the release said.Foreign investments in Air India, including that of overseas airlines, should not exceed 49 per cent either directly or indirectly.”Substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in Indian national,” the release said.

Last week, Vistara CEO Leslie Thng said that Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines have an “open mind” on the issue of disinvestment of Air India and will evaluate if there was a business case for them.The government is in the process of finalising the modalities for strategic disinvestment of debt-laden Air India.On whether it would be interested in Air India disinvestment, Emirates said it has no plans to buy or acquire any airline.