Reports added Air india sale an uphill task for the government, the national carrier could report highest ever loss of over Rs 7,600 crore in financial year 2018-19 on account of low fleet utilization and high fuel prices among others and an official source said the total revenue in the previous fiscal stood close to Rs 26,000 crore. Meanwhile the airline has gone into losses ever since its merger with Indian Airlines in 2007 and the airline's financial has shown signs of improvement following suspension of Jet Airways flights in April.
Furthermore the government had last year set the ball rolling for Air india's disinvestment offering 76% equity stake to private parties but the plan proved to be a damp squib not a single investor turned up to submit expression of interest (EoI). Hence this forced the government to put off the sale process. Apparently it maintained that the plan would be taken up once the operating environment in the aviation sector improved. Impending general election was another reason for putting the plan on hold.
Moreover as the modi government has returned with a thumping majority, it is now keen to complete its unfinished agenda from the previous term. a senior aviation ministry official said that the buyer of Air india would get most lucrative international routes, trained manpower, best flying times and a considerably big fleet.