Expect Air India to be taken over by an Indian company: Hardeep Puri

NEW DELHI: civil aviation and accommodation Minister Hardeep Puri said on Thursday he expected Air india to be taken by a Indian company , while suggesting that it was a golden opportunity to sell the national airline, which is losing more than 20 million rupees per day.

The minister also backed a complete government exit from Air India, although I have added that the final decision will be taken by a ministerial panel. That decision has to be taken by the alternate mechanism (ministerial panel) but my personal opinion is that it should be sold completely. It's a golden opportunity. It's a first-class asset, with a good safety record, engineering, routes and a strong brand. An asset vacuum has been created by Jet (Airways) and the conditions are good, with moderate fuel prices and a stable exchange rate, Puri told TOI in an interview.

The government is expected to decide on Air India's privatization shortly, months after abandoning the sale due to lack of interest.