The government of India (GoI) has released a Preliminary Information Memorandum for the proposed Strategic Disinvestment of Air India Limited, including airlines shareholding interest in the Air India Express Limited (AIXL) and Air India SATS Airport Services Private Limited (AISATS).

GoI through its Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) is inviting Expression-of-Interest (EoI) from interested bidders to for selling equity stakes in the flag carrier and it has set May 14, 2018, as the last date for submission of EoI.

The transfer of management control and sale of 76 percent equity share capital of AI held by GOI for the disinvestment will be taken care by Ernst & Young LLP India.

Currently, AI inter alia holds 100 percent equity share capital of AIXL and 50 percent equity share capital of AISATS.

As per various media reports, a consortium of Indigo and Qatar Airways is likely to table a bid for the ailing national carrier, while Jet Airways, Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines together are also speculated to place their interest. Also, Tata & Singapore Airlines has shown their interest in the 'Maharaja'.

The government has set a rule for companies or consortium bidding for the national carrier will have to have a net worth of Rs 5,000 crore.

“Each consortium member should have a positive profit after tax in at least three of the immediately preceding five financial years from the EOI Deadline,” mentions the memorandum released by GoI.

"India continues to be the world's fastest-growing aviation market, registering a 24.14% month-on-month growth in February CY2018 for domestic fliers."

The Star Alliance member, Air India is one of the most extensive flight service providers in India with network coverage of around 93 destinations (around 54 domestic destinations with around 2,330 departures per week and around 39 international destinations with around 766 departures per week).

Air India offers 51 additional destinations through its secondary network of codeshare operations covered under 19 codeshare agreements with foreign carriers.

Air India has an operating fleet of 115 aircraft as on December 31, 2017, mainly comprising Airbus and Boeing aircraft such as A-319, A-320, A-321, B-747, B-777 and B-787 out of which 69 are owned on finance lease, 24 are on sale and leaseback model and balance are on operating lease.

Additionally, 16 aircraft are on order which includes 13 A320 Neo aircraft (on lease) are expected to be delivered by Jan 2019 and three B777-300ER (owned) aircraft are on order for which delivery is expected in Q42018.