A Maharaja With No Suitors

There are certain indisputable facts about Air India. One is that even if it is in deep financial crisis or has lost much of its past sheen, it still enjoys a huge emotional connect. Two, everyone, whether associated with it or not, whether conversant with the aviation industry or not, has an opinion on its performance, future, etc. Three, even though the stakeholders responsible for its gradual diminution over the years are well-known, each one of them has not only been in a state of denial but also likes to apportion the blame to others. As a consequence, remedial measures, if taken, have always been found to be grossly inadequate. Finally, it is also difficult to conclude that those averse to the disinvestment exercise and want the airline to continue in its current avatar under government ownership can be described as genuine well-wishers of the troubled airline.

The Air India disinvestment exercise, initiated as a great reform measure for public sector undertakings by the Narendra Modi government, has ended with no bids being received from potential acquirers. This has not only been a matter of grave disappointment for many and rejoicing for those opposed to it, but it has become a subject of intense scrutiny and rightly so! Read More

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