The Indian government has extended the deadline for the sale of flag carrier Air India by a further two months, attributing it to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an eighth corrigendum published by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, the deadline to submit of expressions of interest has been pushed back to 30 October, from 31 August.

Qualified interested bidders will also be informed of the outcome on 20 November instead of 14 September.

“The above changes are as per the requests received from the [interested bidders] in view of the prevailing situation arising out of Covid-19,” it says.

Until recently, Tata Group had been the only interested bidder for the airline, though local business newspaper Financial Express reported on 21 August that Hinduja Group, LufthansaEtihad Airways and Singapore Airlines may also throw their hats into the ring. Cirium could not independently verify that report.

The government last extended the deadline for the sale back in June, also by two months.