Air India IPO: Possibility to be looked at after six months, says Praful Patel

New Delhi: The government will take a call on making an initial public offer (IPO) for the newly formed National Aviation Company of India Ltd (Nacil) sometime in the next six months, civil aviation minister, Praful Patel, said Tuesday. Nacil came into existence following the merger of two state-run air carriers, Air India and Indian, and their subsidiaries earlier this year.

The merged entity flies under the Air India brand name.

''The Air-India and Indian merger has taken place recently and we may issue an IPO after six months. We will review the progress of the merger and take a call after six months,'' said Patel. "The IPO would depend on the ''market environment,'' he cautioned.

Commenting about increasing the foreign direct investment cap in the aviation industry, the minister said a proposal to enhance the cap from 49 per cent to 74 per cent was before the union cabinet.

He also told reporters that the bidding process for Navi Mumbai airport is likely to be over by 2008. "The Maharashtra government-run company CIDCO, which is developing the airport, is appointing a technical consultant. The Union cabinet has already given in-principle approval to the project. By next calendar year, the bidding process should be completed," Patel told reporters here.