New Delhi has confirmed that it has not received any responses from interested parties for the privatisation of Air India.

"As informed by the Transaction Adviser, no response has been received for the Expression of Interest floated for the strategic disinvestment of Air India. Further course of action will be decided appropriately," says the ministry of civil aviation in a tweet.

The message came on 31 May - the deadline for interested parties to submit an EOI for a stake in the flag carrier. The deadline had already been extended for two weeks.

New Delhi is selling a 76% stake in Air India, which includes its Air India Express subsidiary and a 50% stake in ground handler Air India SATS.

Private operators IndiGo and Jet Airways both in April ruled out making bids.

One major obstacle observers say is the requirement for the new owners to take on half of the Star Alliance carrier's Rs488 billion ($7.47 billion) debt, plus about Rs88.2 billion in current liabilities.

Another major unknown is how many of the Air India group's 38,000 employees will have to be retained – and what powers, if any, its vocal unions will have.

Meanwhile, local media report that Air India's employee unions have claimed "victory" against the government's privatisation plans.

"No bids for Air India, victory for joint forum in our endeavour to save the airline," said a joint forum of various Air India unions.

Source: Cirium Dashboard