Air India’s Over 6,200 Slots for Flights Could Attract Bidders

Besides this, Air India Express has around 555 slots at different local and overseas airports.

2 min read
Air India Express has around 555 slots at different local and overseas airports. Image used for representational purposes. 

Disinvestment-bound Air India has more than 6,200 slots for domestic and international flights, which could be among the key attractions for potential bidders, according to an official document.

Besides, Air India Express has around 555 slots at different local and overseas airports.

Moving ahead with the strategic disinvestment of Air India, the Civil Aviation Ministry has unveiled the broad contours for the process, including that the government would sell 76 percent stake as well as transfer management control.

The low cost international arm Air India Express would be put up for sale apart from the national carrier's stake in AISATS, an equal joint venture with Singapore-based SATS.

Attractive slots at capacity-constrained airports and opportunities to increase international market share are among the highlights of Air India and Air India Express, as per the preliminary information memorandum issued on Wednesday for the proposed divestment.

In the voluminous preliminary information memorandum, the ministry has cited various 'key investment highlights' for the two carriers, including about slots.

Citing "under-utilised bilateral rights", it said there is huge potential for growth and increasing share in international markets. There is also "scope for improvement in utilisation of bilateral rights".

According to the memorandum, the two airlines have attractive slots at capacity constrained airports in the country.

This is a significant advantage compared to any new player looking to enter or an existing looking to expand into the Indian market.
Civil Aviation Ministry Statement

The national airline has 3,739 domestic slots and 2,543 international slots available per week as on Dec. 31, 2017. In the Gulf and Middle East region alone, the carrier has around 280 slots available at various airports, including Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Tel Aviv and Muscat.

During the same period, Air India Express had 555 slots at different domestic and international airports.

At the end of December 2017, Air India had an operating fleet of 115 aircraft while Air India Express had 23 planes.

The existing debt and liabilities of Air India and Air India Express as on March 31, 2017 would be re-allocated.

(This article has been shortened for length.)

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