The Indian government has officially placed Air India's privatisation process on hold.

In a televised interview, the minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, says that "it is clear that process is over" after the carrier failed to receive a single expression of interest from parties to take a 76% stake in the airline by the closing deadline of 31 May.

"We have to move forward and consider other alternatives... as market and industry circumstances change, we will evaluate all alternatives. If need be, we can restart [the privatisation process] depending on what is appropriate given market circumstances."

Earlier this month, a source close to the developments told FlightGlobal that an IPO plan was "one of a few ways of moving the divestment process forward".

Sinha adds that New Delhi, in the meantime, will continue to financially support the Star Alliance carrier.

"Whatever Air India's financial requirements or liquidity requirements are, we in the government are committed to supporting it and will continue to support it as we have done in the past."

Air India recently sought a short term loan of up to Rs10 billion ($150 million) to meet urgent working capital requirements.

Source: Cirium Dashboard