IndiGo backs out of move to acquire international operations of Air India

Less than 10 days after the Indian government invited expressions of interest (EoI) from those interested in acquiring control of Air India, one of the first movers, IndiGo has backed out of a proposed deal.

“From day one, IndiGo has expressed its interest primarily in the acquisition of Air India’s international operations and Air India Express,” said Aditya Ghosh, president and whole-time director of the airline. “However, that option is not available under the government’s current divestiture plans for Air India.”
He added that IndiGo did not have “the capability to take on the task of acquiring and successfully turning around all of Air India’s airline operations.”
IndiGo, with a market share of nearly 40 per cent, is India’s largest airline and also one of the fastest-growing low-cost carriers in the world. It operates over a thousand flights daily connecting 50 destinations.
Last month, there were reports that IndiGo and Qatar Airways were likely to bid for Air India; both airlines vehemently denied such speculation (See: Rampant speculation on divestment of Air India)
The Indian government had last week announced its proposal to sell a 76-per cent stake in Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express, retaining a minority a 24 per cent in the national carrier, as part of its divestment programme (See: Govt to divest 76% stake in Air India and Air India Express, 50% in AISATS).