Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has all but pulled its interest in acquiring Air India, citing the large resources required to turn around the state-owned airline.
IndiGo's president Aditya Ghosh says that its interest in Air India's privatisation programme has always focused on buying its international operations and low-cost carrier Air India Express.
"However, that option is not available under the government's current divestiture plans for Air India. Also, as we have communicated before, we do not believe that we have the capability to take on the task of acquiring and successfully turn around all of Air India's airline operations," he adds.
New Delhi has decided to sell a 76% stake in the carrier, which includes Air India Express and a 50% stake in groundhandler Air India SATS Airport Services.
The low-cost carrier had been one of the first parties to formally express interest in buying out Air India, albeit with plans to use its international routes and slots to launch into the long-haul market.
IndiGo has said that regardless of any Air India deal, it is proceeding with its own long-haul operations, and would "soon start to apply for route rights, and will chase where the opportunities are".
Source: Cirium Dashboard