Want to acquire AI’s international operations: IndiGo

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Mumbai, July 6 (IANS) Budget passenger carrier IndiGo on Thursday said that it is interested in acquiring the national passenger carrier Air India’s international operations. However it is not keen on going in for a joint venture (JV) with the government.

According to Rakesh Gangwal, Co-Founder IndiGo, the budget airline is interested in Air India’s international operations and that of its low-cost international subsidiary Air India Express.

However, Gangwal made it clear that IndiGo would not be “interested” in forming a JV with the government to acquire Air India.

Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia who is another co-founder of IndiGo, were speaking at a conference call with analysts and investors.

On June 30, IndiGo’s management told its employees that it will not go ahead with its proposal to acquire Air India if the deal “does not add value”.

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“Let me be very clear that if it is not profitable and does not add value to our employees, customers and shareholders, we will not embark on this journey,” Aditya Ghosh, President and Wholetime Director, IndiGo, said in a letter to its employees dated June 29.

“At the same time, we recognise that the Indian government is taking a big, much needed decision and it is important that this decision is always remembered as a huge success,” he said.

At that time Ghosh had said that the airline is interested in Air India’s international operations.

“Over the past decade, we have created a significant domestic network and that gives us the confidence to build a world class international airline in the scale and scope of some of the largest airlines in the world,” he said.

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“Without our domestic feed network, it just does not make sense to embark on this journey and if we do go down this path, it would require significant restructuring of the acquired operations.”

Last month, IndiGo had expressed its interest in participating in the stake sale of the flag-carrier, after the union cabinet’s decision on Air India foillowing NITI Aayog’s recent report to the Civil Aviation Ministry recommending strategic disinvestment in the loss-making Air India.



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