Vistara considering a bid for Air India, chairman says

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A Vistara Airbus A320 passenger aircraft prepares for takeoff at Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai, July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Vistara, a joint venture between India’s Tata Group and Singapore Airlines <SIAL.SI>, is considering a bid for the government’s stake in state-run carrier Air India, Vistara’s chairman said on Monday, according to local media reports.

“Which company would not be interested in evaluating a sovereign airline of the country?” Vistara chairman Bhaskar Bhat said, according to a report by Business Insider, quoting Press Trust of India.

Bhat, however, said no final decision had been made on whether it would submit a bid, the report said.

Bhat was speaking at the unveiling of Vistara’s first Boeing <BA.N> 787-9 Dreamliner plane at Delhi airport.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in January said it planned to sell its entire interest in Air India, making a renewed push to sell the flag carrier after it drew no bids in an auction of a majority stake almost two years ago.

The government has set March 17 as the deadline for submission of initial expressions of interest, and said that any bidder must assume liabilities, including debt of 232.87 billion rupees ($3.20 billion).

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