The Indian government has stated that the winning bidder for Air India will receive complete freedom in managing the carrier.

In a list of clarifications sought by potential bidders, New Delhi says it is seeking to "divest... management control [in Air India]" along with a 76% stake in the airline and that the 24% remaining stake is only limited to equity.

The new owner will also be allowed to "realise operational synergies" subject to regulatory approvals, adds the government.

In addition, the new owner will also be able to enjoy all of the carrier's bilateral rights and slots, and that existing codeshare agreements can be reworked.

New Delhi, however, will not provide guarantees to Air India after its privatisation.

"The impact of withdrawal of government guarantee on the debt terms would, inter- alia, be dependent on the credit quality of the potential bidders," it says.

India has since pushed back the deadline for expressions of interest for a stake in the flag carrier by just over two weeks to 31 May.

The Indian government had originally set 14 May as the deadline for expressions of interest for a 76% stake in Air India, which includes its Air India Express subsidiary and a 50% stake in ground handler Air India SATS.

The date for disclosing the qualified bidders has also been pushed back, from the end of May to 15 June.

Indian private operators IndiGo and Jet Airways both last month ruled out making bids for the national carrier.

Source: Cirium Dashboard