The disinvestment of Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), which is hopefully expected to go through in the next couple of months, will augur well for the country's civil aviation industry, a top government official said on Tuesday. Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal also said the company has a healthy "topline and bottomline".
Air India along with Air India Express was acquired by Tata Group in January last year through a disinvestment process. AIESL, a major player in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) segment, is among the four subsidiaries of erstwhile government-owned Air India and is now under Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL).
"We are in the process of divesting AIESL... Once this disinvestment goes through, hopefully in a couple of months from now, it will also augur well for the Indian civil aviation industry," Bansal said and expressed hope that there will be a good number of interested parties for the company.
Expression of Interest (EoI) is expected to be invited for AIESL disinvestment in the near future. Speaking at the CAPA aviation summit in the national capital, Bansal also said the privatisation of Air India provided a level playing field for all other carriers. Otherwise, one carrier was there where the sovereign government was constantly pumping in money. Hence, it was not a level playing field, he noted.
Meanwhile, the government is making efforts to encourage the manufacturing of airframes and aircraft parts in India. "Despite being a large country, we don't have the capability to manufacture our own aircraft. It is one of our largest failures... having said that once a market grows to a certain scale and size, it is also in the OEMs' interest to set up MRO here," he noted.
OEM refers to Original Equipment Manufacturers. On Monday, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said it is time for India to look at manufacturing of aerospace products.