Air India divestment: Govt needs to ready a Plan B for post pandemic scenario, says CAPA CEO

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 27, 2020

The government needs to keep Plan B ready for the divestment of Air India (AI), especially in the post Covid-19situation, said Kapil Kaul, Chief Executive Officer and Director, CAPA India, on Friday.

His comments come four days before the last date for submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) for those interested in participating in AI’s disinvestment. The date for submission of (EoI) is June 30. However, it is unclear if the date would be extended again.

Addressing a webinar organised by CAPA on Reinventing the airline business model in India, Kaul said that Plan B will have to be better management (of the airline) and continuing till the environment is more viable for privatisation.

“A plan B will be - how do I make it smarter, do I need to get a professional management during the interim period, can I restructure before I privatise, can I get my costs lower, can I redesign the company so that post Covid-19 there is an interest among investors,” he said, adding that post pandemic, you cannot depend on the fact that AI will be privatised.

He added that the government will have to take a strategic consolidation in the sector. “If airlines exit then the government may be tempted to continue Air India but the question is whether AI continues to operate the way it is or will some changes be made to make sure that before a better environment for privatisation exists, the airline is on a path of restructuring its costs, revenue, and even people to the level required,” he added.

Published on June 26, 2020

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